The Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC) is accepting comments on proposed amendments to its Damage Prevention Pipeline rules until January 2, 2018. The proposed amendments require excavators to notify pipeline operators as soon as possible about damage, but no later than one hour after the incident. Excavators also would be required to call 911 to report any product released by a damaged pipeline. Operators and excavators would be given more time to turn in damage reports under the amendments from the current 10 days to 30 days.
The 85th Legislature expanded TRRC’s authority over damage prevention to interstate pipelines that cross state boundaries. Previously, TRRC’s damage prevention authority was only over intrastate pipelines that begin and end in the state. TRRC’s damage prevention rules protect public safety by requiring anyone planning to dig deeper than 16 inches to make a free call to 811 before digging. This call prompts pipeline operators to mark their intrastate underground natural gas or hazardous liquids pipelines.
For more information on the proposed amendments and to submit comments online, go to Chapter 18: Underground Pipeline Damage Prevention here.