WSR 98-15-092

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION

COMMISSION

[Commission Docket No. TO-980905--Filed July 16, 1998, 3:25 p.m.]



Subject of Possible Rule Making: Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Companies -- examine the need to adopting recent federal rule amendments by reference, to increase state penalty levels to conform with existing federal levels, and to review the chapter in light of standards set forth in Executive Order No. 97-02 regarding regulatory improvement.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 81.04.160, chapter 123, Laws of 1998; chapter 247, Laws of 1995 and Federal Pipeline Safety Law, 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The commission has been certified by the federal Department of Transportation - Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) and has assumed responsibility for intrastate hazardous liquids pipeline safety. As a condition of certification, the state is required to adopt safety standards and penalties that are consistent with federal standards and penalties. Pipeline Safety Law, 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq. Adoption of recent federal amendments and setting penalties will maintain compliance. In addition, the agency intends to review chapter 480-75 WAC for compliance with standards specified in Executive Order No. 97-02.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Transportation - Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) is charged by the federal law to regulate hazardous liquids pipeline safety. OPS has certified the commission to assume responsibility for intrastate pipeline transportation. OPS retains responsibility for interstate pipeline safety as authorized by 49 U.S.C. 60104(c). OPS reviews commission program annually. The rule making is aimed at coordinating the state and federal requirements.

The Washington Department of Ecology and the commission have established a Memorandum of Understanding to delineate the authority and jurisdiction of each agency in regard to intrastate hazardous liquid pipeline facilities. Each agency desires to fulfill the obligations of its mandated responsibilities to the citizens of Washington while minimizing duplicate regulatory oversight. The commission is also working with the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council to ensure that the agencies' programs complement each other and are not duplicative.

Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study, the commission will provide notice to all regulated hazardous liquid pipeline companies and others whom it knows to be interested in this subject, will invite written comment, and will discuss the proposal with interested persons and, if interest warrants, will establish a workshop or other opportunity for discussion aimed at achieving consensus among interested persons.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting the Secretary, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250, (360) 664-1174, fax (360) 586-1150. Such persons may submit comments, as specified below, or may ask to be included in the commission's list of interested persons for the proceeding.

Written Comments: Written comments in response to the CR-101 from persons interested in the subject matter of this proposed rule making may be filed with the commission secretary, referencing Docket No. TO-980905, not later than August 14, 1998. All commenters are asked, but not required, to file an original and ten copies of their written comments. The commission also requests, but does not require, that comments be provided on a 3 1/2 inch IBM formatted high-density disk, in WordPerfect version 51 [5.1], 6.0 or 6.1, labeled with the docket number of this proceeding, the title of the submission, the commenter's name, and the type of software used. The commission may offer additional opportunities to provide written comments. Interested persons may file additional written comments in response to any such invitation. After reviewing comments and levels of interest, the commission staff will determine whether a workshop would assist in the sharing of information or the discussion of interests. Interested persons may also attend and participate in any such workshop. The commission will provide written notice of any preproposal workshops, and of all future phases of this proceeding, to all commenters and to any other persons specifically asking to receive notice in this rule-making proceeding.

July 14, 1998

Terrence Stapleton

for Carole J. Washburn

Secretary

Legislature Code Reviser

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office