Act 127 of 2011 - The Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipeline Act: paPUC Registration

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In December 2011, Governor Corbett signed into law the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipeline Act ("Act 127") that expands the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission's ("PUC" or "Commission") authority to enforce federal pipeline safety laws as they relate to non-public utility gas and hazardous materials, pipelines and facilities throughout the Commonwealth.

Act 127 provisions apply to Pipeline Operators as well as companies engaged in the gathering, transportation or distribution of natural gas or hazardous liquids. A "Pipeline Operator" is a person that owns or operates equipment or facilities for transportation of gas or hazardous liquids by pipeline or pipeline facility, or such equipment and facilities regulated under federal pipeline safety laws. Unfortunately, many interpret Act 127 registration requirements as pertaining only to Marcellus or Utica Shale play-based pipeline owners or operators; this is incorrect. The PUC's implementation of Act 127 is applicable to entities, including industrial and large commercial companies, that own pipelines especially if those pipelines cross over roads or public easements.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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