In This Issue

TRRC Begins Rulemaking for Pipeline Safety Enhancements

TRRC sought informal comments on rule amendments related to Class 1 and rural gathering lines, implementation of House Bills 866 and 864 requirements, reductions to late fees for certain pipeline operators, and other various updates to TRRC’s Pipeline Safety Regulations found in Chapter 8.

HB 866 prohibits pipeline distribution operators from installing cast iron, wrought iron or bare steel pipelines underground. HB 866 further requires pipeline distribution operators to replace any known underground cast iron pipe by Dec. 31, 2021. HB 864 requires pipeline operators to notify the Railroad Commission within one hour of any incident that results in a death, injury requiring in-patient hospitalization, or the release of three million cubic feet or more of natural gas. This change codifies in state law notifications already required by TRRC through federal pipeline safety regulations. Both HB 866 and HB 864 require TRRC adopt rules by Dec. 31, 2019.

The Commission held a workshop on July 24 accepting verbal and written comments on these rule amendments. The informal comment period ends at 5 p.m., Aug. 12. Draft rule language and other information is posted at:

When the informal comment period ends, the next step will be for TRRC staff to take the informal comments into consideration and adjust the draft proposed rule amendments. These adjusted draft amendments then will be set on a future TRRC conference agenda for the three Railroad Commissioners to vote on publishing in the Texas Register. Once published in the Texas Register, the Commission will take additional public comment on the rules before they are finalized and proposed for adoption by the Commission.