The Pennsylvania Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipeline Act, adopted December 22, 2011, became effective February 20, 2012. Act 127 grants authority to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (“PUC”) to regulate all pipeline operators in Pennsylvania for pipeline safety purposes, to assess the costs of that regulation and to gather information about the origin of steel pipe used to transport natural gas from unconventional sources.
This Act is significant because, historically, gathering lines in Pennsylvania have not been subject to any effective pipeline safety regulation. Now, the PUC will conduct the same kinds of inspections regarding such things as leak-detection surveys, atmospheric corrosion, MAOP requirements, recordkeeping requirements, and the like, as it has historically conducted with public utility pipeline facilities.
The PUC adopted a Final Implementation Order implementing Act 127 on February 16, 2012. The Order requires all pipeline operators in Pennsylvania to pay a $250 registration fee and file an Initial Registration Form by March 16, 2012 and an Annual Registration Form by March 31 of each year thereafter. A copy of the Act, the Order, the Registration Form and other information can be found on the PUC’s website. Failure to register could result in civil penalties of up to $10,000 per day.
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