OLYMPIA, Washington – On April 20, 2007, Governor Chris Gregoire signed the first major revision to Washington’s pipeline safety act since 2001.
Substitute Senate Bill 5225 passed in the House 98-0, and in the Senate 48-0.
The law, which takes effect in July, will:
- Increase the maximum penalties for pipeline safety violations from $25,000 to $100,000 per day. That brings the state’s penalties in line with federal law.
- Defines “gas” in a way so that the state agency can regulate hydrogen and acid gas pipelines.
- Extends state pipeline safety regulation over publicly owned small pipeline systems called “master meters” that are subject only to federal pipeline safety rules.
- Gives the UTC regulatory authority over propane pipeline distribution systems even if the agency does not have rate-setting authority over the propane system.
- Eliminates obsolete references and unused definitions in existing laws.
- Consolidates all pipeline safety authority under one law instead of several.
Under state law, the Utilities and Transportation Commission can levy a civil penalty of $25,000 per violation up to a maximum $500,000 for a series of violations. The current federal penalty is $100,000 per violation up to $1 million for a series of violations.
For a copy of this Bill, contact Jessica Roger.