In This Issue

Texas Proposed Rule – Direct Assessment Approval

The Railroad Commission of Texas proposes to amend �8.101 (relating to Pipeline Integrity Assessment and Management Plans for Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines) to provide an alternative means for approval of the use of direct assessment by hazardous liquids and natural gas pipeline operators as an assessment tool. Currently, �8.101(b)(1) requires that a hearing be held in all instances in which a pipeline operator’s integrity assessment plan lists direct assessment or other methods of assessment not specifically listed in the rule as the assessment methodology. In addition, the Commission proposes to adopt new �8.103, relating to Procedures and Standards for Approval of Certain Methodologies for Integrity Management Assessment, which sets forth procedures for reviewing operators’ requests for approval of direct assessment and other technology options listed in �8.101(b)(1).

The Commission proposes to amend �8.101(b)(1)(C) to remove the mandate for a hearing when an operator requests approval of direct assessment or other technology options not specifically listed in �8.101(b)(1). Under the proposed amendment, Pipeline Safety staff would work with the operators to review requests for approval of direct assessment plans and, upon the concurrence of both the operator and the Pipeline Safety staff, would present to the Commission a recommendation of approval of the assessment methodology and an agreed order. If the operator and the Pipeline Safety staff do not reach agreement regarding the method or methods of assessment, the operator would still have the opportunity for a hearing as provided in proposed new �8.103.

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; or by electronic mail to The Commission will accept comments for 60 days after publication in the Texas Register and should refer to Gas Utilities Docket No. 9378. 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 The full text of the proposed rule can be downloaded from RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway.