PRINTER'S NO.  303

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

SENATE BILL

 

No.

325

Session of

2011

  

  

INTRODUCED BY BAKER, ALLOWAY, ERICKSON, FERLO, FONTANA, KASUNIC, MENSCH, PIPPY, RAFFERTY, SCARNATI, SOLOBAY, TOMLINSON, M. WHITE AND YUDICHAK, JANUARY 28, 2011

  

  

REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE, JANUARY 28, 2011  

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

1

Providing for gas and hazardous liquids pipelines and for powers

2

and duties of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission; and

3

imposing civil penalties.

4

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

5

hereby enacts as follows:

6

CHAPTER 1

7

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

8

Section 101.  Short title.

9

This act shall be known and may be cited as the Gas and

10

Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act.

11

Section 102.  Definitions.

12

The following words and phrases when used in this act shall

13

have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

14

context clearly indicates otherwise:

15

"Commission."  The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

16

"Federal pipeline safety laws."  The provisions of 49 U.S.C.

17

Ch. 601 (relating to safety), the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline

 


1

Safety Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-129, 93 Stat. 989), the

2

Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-355, 116

3

Stat. 2985) and the regulations promulgated under the acts.

4

"Gas."  Natural gas, liquefied natural gas, synthetic natural

5

gas and other gas as defined under the Federal pipeline safety

6

laws.

7

"Hazardous liquid."  Petroleum, a petroleum product,

8

anhydrous ammonia, landfill gas and other hazardous liquid as

9

defined under the Federal pipeline safety laws.

10

"Person."  An individual, firm, joint venture, partnership,

11

corporation, association, municipality, cooperative association

12

or joint stock association, including any trustee, receiver,

13

assignee or personal representative thereof. The term does not

14

include a public utility.

15

"Pipeline."  A part of the physical facilities through which

16

gas or hazardous liquids move in transportation, including a

17

pipe valve and other appurtenance attached to the pipe,

18

compressor unit, metering station, regulator station, delivery

19

station, holder and fabricated assembly. The term only includes

20

pipeline regulated by Federal pipeline safety laws. The term

21

does not include a pipeline subject to the exclusive

22

jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

23

"Pipeline facility."  A new or existing pipeline, right-of-

24

way and any equipment, facility or building used in the

25

transportation of natural gas or hazardous liquids or in the

26

treatment of natural gas or hazardous liquids during the course

27

of transportation. The term does not include a pipeline facility

28

subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Energy

29

Regulatory Commission.

30

"Pipeline operator."  A person that owns or operates

- 2 -

 


1

equipment or facilities in this Commonwealth for the

2

transportation of gas or hazardous liquids by pipeline or

3

pipeline facility regulated under Federal pipeline safety laws.

4

The term does not include a public utility or an ultimate

5

consumer who owns a service line on his real property.

6

"Public utility."  As defined in 66 Pa.C.S. § 102 (relating

7

to definitions).

8

"Transportation of gas."  The gathering, transmission or

9

distribution of natural gas by pipeline or the storage of gas.

10

"Transportation of hazardous liquids."  The gathering,

11

transmission or distribution of hazardous liquids by pipeline.

12

Section 103.  Applicability.

13

The provisions of this act shall apply only to pipelines,

14

pipeline operators or pipeline facilities regulated under

15

Federal pipeline safety laws.

16

CHAPTER 3

17

PIPELINE OPERATORS

18

Section 301.  Registry of pipeline operators.

19

(a)  Registry.--The commission shall establish and maintain a

20

registry of all pipeline operators.

21

(b)  Application.--The commission may develop an application

22

for registration under subsection (a) and may charge a

23

reasonable registration fee and annual renewal fee.

24

(c)  Registration with commission.--

25

(1)  A pipeline operator shall register with the

26

commission.

27

(2)  Failure to register shall subject the pipeline

28

operator to a civil penalty under section 502.

29

(d)  Exemptions.--No application or registration fee shall be

30

required of a petroleum gas distributor who is registered under

- 3 -

 


1

the act of June 19, 2002 (P.L.421, No.61), known as the Propane

2

and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act, and provides proof of

3

registration to the commission. It shall be the responsibility

4

of the commission to verify registrations of petroleum gas

5

distributors with the Department of Labor and Industry before

6

requiring a petroleum gas distributor to register under this

7

section. This exemption shall not apply to assessments.

8

Section 302.  Adoption of Federal pipeline safety laws.

9

(a)  General rule.--The safety standards and regulations for

10

pipeline operators shall be those issued under the Federal

11

pipeline safety laws as implemented in 49 CFR Subtitle B Ch. 1

12

Subch. D (relating to pipeline safety).

13

(b)  Amendments to Federal law.--

14

(1)  Amendments to Federal pipeline safety laws shall

15

have the effect of amending or modifying the safety standards

16

and regulations for the transportation of gas and hazardous

17

liquids in this Commonwealth.

18

(2)  An amendment or modification under paragraph (1)

19

shall take effect 60 days after its effective date.

20

CHAPTER 5

21

COMMISSION AUTHORITY AND ENFORCEMENT

22

Section 501.  General powers of commission.

23

(a)  Commission authority.--The commission shall have general

24

administrative authority to supervise and regulate pipeline

25

operators within this Commonwealth consistent with Federal

26

pipeline safety laws. The commission may adopt regulations,

27

consistent with the Federal pipeline safety laws, as may be

28

necessary or proper in the exercise of its powers and perform

29

its duties under this act. The regulations shall not be

30

inconsistent with or greater or more stringent than the minimum

- 4 -

 


1

standards and regulations adopted under the Federal pipeline

2

safety law. The commission shall have the following duties:

3

(1)  To investigate a service, act, practice, policy or

4

omission by a pipeline operator to determine compliance with

5

this act.

6

(2)  To investigate a pipeline transportation facility to

7

determine if it is hazardous to life or property.

8

(3)  To investigate the existence or report of a safety-

9

related condition that involves a pipeline transportation

10

facility.

11

(4)  To enter into contracts or agreements with the

12

United States Department of Transportation to inspect

13

intrastate or interstate transmission facilities.

14

(5)  Accept grants-in-aid, cash and reimbursements made

15

available to the Commonwealth by the Federal Government to

16

implement Federal pipeline safety laws or other Federal law.

17

(6)  To advise, consult and cooperate with the Federal

18

Government, other states and other agencies as may be

19

necessary to carry out the purposes of this act.

20

(7)  To enforce the Federal pipeline safety laws and,

21

after notice and opportunity for a hearing, impose civil

22

penalties and fines and take other appropriate enforcement

23

action.

24

(8)  For purposes of petroleum gas, the commission's

25

jurisdiction under this act shall be limited to those

26

petroleum gas systems that are the following:

27

(i)  Subject to the Federal pipeline safety laws.

28

(ii)  Not a public utility.

29

(b)  Compliance.--Each pipeline operator, its officers,

30

agents and employees, and other persons subject to this act, or

- 5 -

 


1

to an order of the commission, or a court under this act, shall

2

observe, obey and comply with this act and the terms and

3

conditions of the orders issued hereunder.

4

Section 502.  Civil penalties.

5

(a)  Violations.--Any pipeline operator who violates this act

6

shall be subject to a penalty provided under the Federal

7

pipeline safety laws or 66 Pa.C.S. § 3301(c) (relating to civil

8

penalties for violations), whichever is greater.

9

(b)  Disposition of fines and penalties.--Fines imposed and

10

civil penalties recovered under this act shall be paid to the

11

commission. The funds received by the commission under this

12

subsection shall be paid into the State Treasury, through the

13

Department of Revenue, to the credit of the General Fund.

14

Section 503.  Assessments.

15

(a)  Duty to determine.--The commission shall by regulation

16

or order determine the assessments of pipeline operators in

17

accordance with this section.

18

(b)  Assessments.--

19

(1)  The commission shall determine an appropriate annual

20

assessment based on intrastate regulated transmission,

21

regulated distribution and regulated onshore gathering

22

pipeline miles. The assessment shall be adjusted to collect

23

the commission's total costs of the pipeline operators'

24

portion, excluding the costs otherwise reimbursed by the

25

Federal Government, of:

26

(i)  The natural gas pipeline safety program, plus a

27

reasonable allocation of indirect costs.

28

(ii)  The hazardous liquids pipeline safety program.

29

(2)  The assessment shall be paid by pipeline operators

30

and shall not be applicable to natural gas public utilities.

- 6 -

 


1

(c)  Time for payment.--The assessment shall be due and

2

payable within 30 days from the notice of amount due from the

3

commission. The amount of the assessment may be challenged by a

4

pipeline operator consistent with the provisions of 66 Pa.C.S. §

5

510(c), (d) and (e) (relating to assessment for regulatory

6

expenses upon public utilities).

7

(d)  Reporting of miles.--Each pipeline operator shall, on or

8

before March 31 of each calendar year, report to the commission

9

its total intrastate regulated transmission, regulated

10

transmission and regulated onshore gathering pipeline miles in

11

operation for the transportation of gas and hazardous liquids in

12

this Commonwealth during the prior calendar year.

13

(e)  Estimated fees.--The estimated fees to be collected

14

under this section for each fiscal year shall be subtracted from

15

the final estimate of total expenditures used to calculate the

16

total assessment on public utilities under 66 Pa.C.S. § 510.

17

Section 504.  Jurisdiction and authority of commission.

18

(a)  Jurisdiction.--Nothing in this act shall give the

19

commission jurisdiction over any pipeline operator for purposes

20

of rates or ratemaking or any purpose other than those set forth

21

in this act.

22

(b)  Landfill gas distribution systems.--The jurisdiction of

23

the commission over landfill gas distribution systems under this

24

act shall be limited to systems subject to Federal pipeline

25

safety laws. The commission shall not have jurisdiction over

26

operations and systems within the property boundary of the

27

landfill.

28

(c)  Authority.--Nothing in this act grants the commission

29

additional authority to determine or regulate a pipeline

30

operator as a public utility as defined in 66 Pa.C.S. § 102

- 7 -

 


1

(relating to definitions) or as a natural gas supplier or

2

natural gas supply services as defined in 66 Pa.C.S. § 2202

3

(relating to definitions).

4

CHAPTER 11

5

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

6

Section 1101.  Effective date.

7

This act shall take effect in 60 days.

- 8 -

 


See other bills
under the
same topic