In May the TRRC published in the Texas Register proposed changes to Title 16, Chapter 8. The Commission has proposed to move pipeline safety rules from Title 16, Chapter 7 of the Texas Administration Code into newly created sections in Chapter 8. In addition to moving the current rules, the TRRC also proposes to create two new rules which do not have a counterpart in Chapter 7. The first is §8.125 Waiver Procedure which implements a process which has been informally used by the Commission for the past 10 years. The second proposed new rule, §8.245 Penalty Guidelines for Pipeline Safety Violations, is the most significant proposed change. The penalties range from $500 to $25,000. This proposed rule makes clear that the penalties listed are only guidelines.
According to the Director, Safety Division, Mary McDaniel, “the public benefit will be that all pipeline safety rules will be located in their own chapter. This should make it easier for operators to locate the rules, thus making compliance easier for pipeline operators to achieve and making pipeline operations safer. Also, combining provisions that apply to all pipelines is efficient. Having all pipeline safety regulations in a single chapter makes them easier for the public to find and understand what is required of pipeline operators.”
The portion of the Texas Register containing the proposed rule changes can be downloaded from RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway.
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. When submitting comments refer to the Gas Utilities Docket No. 9255. The comment period ends July 6, 2004. For more information, call Mary McDaniel at (512) 463-7166.