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Pipeline Safety

Concerning measures to promote safety in the distribution of natural gas.
2024 Regular Session
Bill Summary

Current law requires the pipeline safety rules of the public utilities commission (commission) to address the mapping of all pipelines within the commission's jurisdiction. The bill clarifies current law by requiring the commission's mapping requirements for all pipelines within its jurisdiction to be available at a scale of 1 to 6,000 or greater.

On or before December 31, 2024, the commission must adopt rules that require:

  • An owner or operator of a transmission line, a distribution system, or a gathering line to use advanced leak detection technology in accordance with certain requirements;
  • An owner or operator of a transmission line, a distribution system, or a gathering line or an investor-owned natural gas utility (owner or operator) to repair grade 1 gas leaks immediately upon detection, grade 2 gas leaks no later than 60 days after detection, and grade 3 gas leaks no later than one year after detection; and
  • That all pipeline road and railroad crossings are inspected with advanced leak detection technology on a monthly basis for damage caused from traffic.

The bill also requires a section of pipeline that has not been used for 2 or more years to be removed or abandoned in place. An owner or operator may abandon a section of pipeline in place only in certain circumstances. If an owner or operator intends to remove a section of pipeline or abandon a section of pipeline in place, the owner or operator must notify the commission no less than 30 days before the owner or operator commences the removal or abandonment in place. The commission may review a notice of abandonment in place to determine whether the proposed abandonment in place is less impactful than removal.

The bill also requires the commission to develop a user-friendly, public-facing website (website) for pipeline safety data in the state. The website must include the location, date, and owner or operator for the following data:

  • Reportable safety events;
  • Violations;
  • Compliance actions;
  • Pipeline inspection data; and
  • How to access the mapping of pipelines within the commission's jurisdiction.

Current law provides that any person that violates certain pipeline safety laws is subject to a penalty of up to $200,000 dollars per violation. The bill changes this maximum penalty to $500,000 per violation. The amount of the penalty must also be no less than $5,000 for each day of a violation and, in the event that the commission deems that the penalty is necessary for the protection of public health, safety, welfare, the environment, or wildlife resources, no less than $15,000 per day of a violation. Beginning in 2026, the commission is required to adjust the penalty amounts for inflation every 2 years.

Current law allows the commission to reduce penalties based on certain metrics and factors (factors). The bill changes current law to allow the commission to also increase penalties based on the factors and adds additional factors that the commission must consider. Except with respect to an owner or operator of a distribution system serving fewer than 1,000 customers in the state, the commission is prohibited from reducing a penalty based on the factors by more than 15% and the violator is required to conduct certain compliance actions before a reduction occurs.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)




Bill Text


Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Rep. K. Brown, Rep. T. Story
Sen. K. Priola



The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details