The Texas Railroad Commission has proposed a rule requiring public notice for all pipelines that cross more than three counties and for which construction began on or after September 1, 2001. The term “construction” means any activity conducted during the initial construction of a new pipeline or an extension of an existing pipeline, regardless of ownership of the extension, including the removal of earth, vegetation, or obstructions along the proposed pipeline right-of-way. The term does not include surveying or acquiring the right-of-way; clearing the right-of-way with the consent of the owner; repairing or maintaining an existing pipeline or pipeline facility; or installing valves or meters or other devices or fabrications on an existing pipeline if such devices or fabrication do not result in an increase in the length of the pipeline. Finally, the term “construction project” means the construction of a new pipeline system that crosses more than three counties or the construction of an extension of an existing pipeline system if the extension crosses more than three counties.
Proposed new �8.120(b) requires that at least 30 days but not more than one year before the start of construction, a pipeline operator must publish newspaper notice of the construction project in accordance with subsection (c) of the rule. In addition, no later than the first day of publication, the operator is required to provide a copy of the information listed in subsection (c)(1)-(4) to the county judge and commissioners and county clerk of each county that contains part of the proposed route of the construction project; the county fire marshal in each county that contains part of the proposed route of the construction project, if such office has been established by that county; and the regional water planning group established by Texas Water Code, �16.053, in each regional water planning area that contains part of the proposed route of the construction project.
Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Rules Coordinator, Office of General Counsel, Railroad Commission of Texas, P.O. Box 12967, Austin, Texas 78711-2967; online at www.rrc.state.tx.us/rules/commentform.html; or by electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Commission will accept comments until April 14, 2003. Comments should refer to Gas Utilities Docket No. 9371. The Commission cannot guarantee that comments submitted after the deadline will be considered. For further information, call Mary McDaniel at (512) 463-7058. The status of Commission rulemakings in progress is available at www.rrc.state.tx.us/rules/proposed.html. The complete proposed rule can be downloaded from RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway.