Friday, March 31, 2023

PUC Denies Conventional Oil & Gas Industry Petition To Reconsider Regulation Of Class One Natural Gas Gathering Pipelines

Public Utility Commission published notice in the April 1 PA Bulletin it has denied a petition by conventional oil and gas drillers to reconsider regulation of Class One natural gas gathering pipelines. 

On December 8, 2022, the Commission adopted an order asserting jurisdiction over Class 1 natural gas gathering pipelines and certain liquified natural gas (LNG) facilities pursuit to the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act (Act 127) and in response to amendments to federal pipeline safety regulations by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association filed a Petition for Reconsideration (Petition) requesting the Commission to reconsider its determination that certain Class 1 gathering lines, specifically Type R lines, are subject to Act 127 registration and assessment given that such lines are subject only to annual and incident reporting requirements under Part 191 regulations and are not subject to the broader safety requirements under Part 192 regulations.

At its March 16 meeting, the PUC denied PIOGA’s request for reconsideration regarding Act 127 registration but will grant clarification as to Act 127 assessments. 

Specifically, they found  Act 127 gives the Commission jurisdiction over Type R intrastate pipeline operators and requires these operators to register with the Commission on an annual basis and report the location of the pipeline by class and approximate aggregate miles for inclusion in the Commission’s registry.

The Commission also requires each pipeline operator, regardless of class location, to disclose in its initial registration and in each annual renewal the country of manufacture for all tubular steel products used in the exploration, gathering or transportation of natural gas or hazardous liquids.

However, consistent with Act 127, as discussed further below, we will not assess these operators and will not require them to file Part 191 reports with the Commission at this time, pending PHMSA development of new reporting requirements.

Click Here for a copy of the PUC’s order related to the PIOGA petition.

PUC Docket No. M-2012-2282031

[Posted: March 31, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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