WSR 05-20-095

PROPOSED RULES

UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION

COMMISSION

[ Docket No. PG-050933 -- Filed October 5, 2005, 9:07 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 05-16-118.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Amendments to the following rules in chapter 480-93 WAC, Gas companies -- Safety, specifically, WAC 480-93-005(18), 480-93-017, 480-93-178(5), 480-93-200 (1)(e) and (6)(b) and (c).

Hearing Location(s): Commission Hearing Room 206, 2nd Floor, Chandler Plaza Building, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504-7250, on November 9, 2005, at 9:30 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: November 9, 2005.

Submit Written Comments to: Carole J. Washburn, Secretary, P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail records@wutc.wa.gov, fax (360) 586-1150, by October 26, 2005. Please include Docket PG-050933 in your communication.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Mary DeYoung by Monday, November 7, 2005, TTY (360) 586-8203 or (360) 664-1133.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed amendments are intended to correct errors and clarify rules in chapter 480-93 WAC that the commission adopted effective June 2, 2005. The proposed amendments clarify the definition of "prompt" in WAC 480-93-005(18); change the language from "operating" to "intending to operate" a gas pipeline facility in WAC 480-93-017; add "such as inserting the plastic pipeline in conduit" in WAC 480-93-178(5), which was included in subsection (4) but inadvertently left out of subsection (5); and modify subsection (1)(e) of WAC 480-93-200 to change the number of customers from twenty to twenty-five, modify subsection (6)(b) to remove the language "with the corresponding PHMSA fiscal year," and add language to subsection (6)(c) to clarify reporting requirements.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: After working with the recent comprehensive revision of the gas safety rules, the commission staff and stakeholders have discovered areas of the rules that call for minor correction, updates, deletion, and revision. This proposal would address those areas.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 80.01.040(4), 80.04.160, and 80.28.210(1).

Statute Being Implemented: Not applicable.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Sondra Walsh, Senior Policy Strategist, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 664-1286; Implementation and Enforcement: Carole J. Washburn, Executive Secretary, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 664-1174.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed corrections and changes to rules will not result in or impose an increase in costs. Because there will not be any increase in costs resulting from the proposed rule changes, a small business economic impact statement is not required under RCW 19.85.030(1).

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The commission is not an agency to which RCW 34.05.328 applies. The proposed rules are not significant legislative rules of the sort referenced in RCW 34.05.328(5).

October 5, 2005

Carole J. Washburn

Executive Secretary

OTS-8417.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Docket No. UG-011073, General Order No. R-520, filed 5/2/05, effective 6/2/05)

WAC 480-93-005   Definitions.   (1) "Bar hole" means a hole made in the soil or paving for the specific purpose of testing the subsurface atmosphere with a combustible gas indicator.

(2) "Building" means any structure that is normally or occasionally entered by humans for business, residential, or other purposes and where gas could accumulate.

(3) "Business district" means an area where the public regularly congregates or where the majority of the buildings on either side of the street are regularly utilized, for financial, commercial, industrial, religious, educational, health, or recreational purposes.

(4) "CFR" means the Code of Federal Regulations.

(5) "Combustible gas indicator" (CGI) means a device capable of detecting and measuring gas concentrations in air.

(6) "Commission" means the Washington utilities and transportation commission.

(7) "Enclosed space" means any subsurface structure of sufficient size that could accommodate a person and within which gas could accumulate, e.g., vaults, catch basins, and manholes.

(8) "Follow-up inspection" means an inspection performed after a repair has been completed in order to determine the effectiveness of the repair.

(9) "Gas" means natural gas, flammable gas, or gas that is toxic or corrosive.

(10) "Gas associated substructures" means those devices or facilities utilized by an operator which are not intended for storing, transporting, or distributing gas, such as valve boxes, vaults, test boxes, and vented casing pipe.

(11) "Gas company" means, as defined in RCW 80.04.010, every corporation, company, association, joint stock association, partnership and person, their lessees, trustees or receiver appointed by any court whatsoever, and every city or town, owning, controlling, operating or managing any gas plant within this state.

(12) "High occupancy structure or area" means a building or an outside area (such as a playground, recreation area, outdoor theater, or other place of public assembly) that is occupied by twenty or more persons on at least five days a week for ten weeks in any twelve-month period. (The days and weeks need not be consecutive.)

(13) "Indication" means a response indicated by a gas detection instrument that has not been verified as a reading.

(14) "LEL" means the lower explosive limit of the gas being transported.

(15) "MAOP" means maximum allowable operating pressure.

(16) "Master meters system" is defined as set forth in 49 CFR 191.3.

(17) "Operator":

(a) For purposes of chapter 480-93 WAC, the term "operator" means:

(i) Every gas distribution company that has tariffs on file with the commission;

(ii) Every city or town that owns, controls, operates, or manages any gas plant in this state; and

(iii) Every other person or corporation transporting natural gas by pipeline, or having for one or more of its principal purposes the construction, maintenance, or operation of pipelines for transporting natural gas in this state; even though such person or corporation does not deliver, sell, or furnish any such gas to any person or corporation within this state. The terms "person" and "corporation" are defined in RCW 80.04.010. "Transporting natural gas by pipeline" means transmission or distribution of natural gas through a pipe.

(b) A single entity may qualify as an operator under one or more of the provisions of this subsection.

(c) The term "operator" includes operators of master meter systems, as that term is defined in WAC 480-93-005.

(18) "Prompt action" means to dispatch qualified personnel without undue delay ((for the purpose of evaluating and, where necessary, abating an existing or probable hazard)).

(19) "Psig" means pounds per square inch gauge.

(20) "Public service company" is defined in RCW 80.04.010.

(21) "Reading" means a repeatable representation on a combustible gas indicator or equivalent instrument expressed in percent LEL or gas-air ratio.

(22) "Sniff test" means a qualitative test utilizing both threshold and readily detectable methods for determining proper concentrations of odorant.

(23) "Transmission line" means a gas pipeline as defined in 49 CFR 192.3 on the date specified in WAC 480-93-999.

(24) "Weak link" means a device or method used when pulling polyethylene pipe to ensure that damage will not occur to the pipeline by exceeding the maximum tensile stresses allowed.

(25) Other terms that correspond to those used in 49 CFR Parts 191, 192 and 199 (Minimum Federal Safety Standards for Gas Pipelines) must be construed as used therein on the date specified in WAC 480-93-999.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.04.160, 80.28.210, and 80.01.040. 05-10-055 (Docket No. UG-011073, General Order No. R-520), 480-93-005, filed 5/2/05, effective 6/2/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040, 80.04.160, 81.04.160, and 34.05.310. 01-20-061 (Docket No. A-010827, General Order No. R-491), 480-93-005, filed 9/28/01, effective 10/29/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040 and 80.28.210. 95-13-082 (Order R-427, Docket No. UG-950061), 480-93-005, filed 6/20/95, effective 7/21/95. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040. 92-16-100 (Order R-375, Docket No. UG-911261), 480-93-005, filed 8/5/92, effective 9/5/92; Order R-100, 480-93-005, filed 5/18/77. Formerly WAC 480-93-001.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Docket No. UG-011073, General Order No. R-520, filed 5/2/05, effective 6/2/05)

WAC 480-93-017   Filing requirements for design, specification, and construction procedures.   (1) Any operator ((operating)) intending to operate a gas pipeline facility in this state must file with the commission all applicable construction procedures, designs, and specifications used for each pipeline facility prior to operating the pipeline. All procedures must detail the acceptable types of materials, fittings, and components for the different types of facilities in the operator's system.

(2) With the exception of emergency situations, any construction plans that do not conform with a gas company's existing and accepted construction procedures, designs, and specifications on file with the commission, must be submitted to the commission for review at least forty-five days prior to the initiation of construction activity.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.04.160, 80.28.210, and 80.01.040. 05-10-055 (Docket No. UG-011073, General Order No. R-520), 480-93-017, filed 5/2/05, effective 6/2/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040. 92-16-100 (Order R-375, Docket No. UG-911261), 480-93-017, filed 8/5/92, effective 9/5/92.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Docket No. UG-011073, General Order No. R-520, filed 5/2/05, effective 6/2/05)

WAC 480-93-178   Protection of plastic pipe.   (1) Every operator must have detailed written procedures for the storage, handling, and installation of plastic pipelines. Except for joining procedures, and unless the operator has more stringent procedures, the storage, handling, and installation of all plastic pipe must be in accordance with the latest applicable manufacturer's recommended practices.

(2) The maximum cumulative ultraviolet light exposure limit for plastic pipe is two years, or the manufacturer's recommended limit. The acceptable time limit must be detailed in the operator's procedures manual.

(3) Plastic pipe that is pulled through the ground by mechanical means must have a weak link installed that will ensure the pipe will not be damaged by excessive tensile forces.

(4) When installing plastic pipelines parallel to other underground utilities, operators must ensure there is a minimum of twelve inches of separation from the other utilities. Where a minimum twelve inches of separation is not possible, operators must take adequate precautions, such as inserting the plastic pipeline in conduit, to minimize any potential hazards resulting from the close proximity to the other utilities.

(5) When installing plastic pipelines perpendicular to other underground utilities, operators must ensure there is a minimum of six inches of separation from the other utilities. Where a minimum six inches of separation is not possible, an operator must take adequate precautions, such as inserting the plastic pipeline in conduit, to minimize any potential hazards resulting from the close proximity to the other utilities.

(6) Except for approved steel encased plastic pipe, and except where allowed by (b) of this subsection, the maximum time limit that plastic pipe may be temporarily installed above ground is thirty days.

(a) During temporary installations, operators must monitor and protect above ground plastic pipe from potential damage.

(b) Operators may install above ground plastic pipe for periods longer than thirty days if they have a written monitoring program and notify the commission by telephone prior to exceeding the thirty-day time limit.

(7) Plastic pipe must be bedded in a suitable material as recommended by the pipe manufacturer. Unless otherwise permitted by the manufacturer, plastic pipe must be bedded in an essentially rock-free material.

(8) Plastic pipe may not be squeezed more than one time in the same location.

(9) Plastic pipe must not be squeezed within twelve inches or three pipe diameters, whichever is greater, from any joint or fitting.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.04.160, 80.28.210, and 80.01.040. 05-10-055 (Docket No. UG-011073, General Order No. R-520), 480-93-178, filed 5/2/05, effective 6/2/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Docket No. UG-011073, General Order No. R-520, filed 5/2/05, effective 6/2/05)

WAC 480-93-200   Reporting requirements for operators of gas facilities.   (1) Every operator must give notice to the commission by telephone within two hours of discovering an incident or hazardous condition arising out of its operations that:

(a) Results in a fatality or personal injury requiring hospitalization;

(b) Results in damage to the property of the operator and others of a combined total exceeding fifty thousand dollars;

(c) Results in the evacuation of a building, or high occupancy structures or areas;

(d) Results in the unintentional ignition of gas;

(e) Results in the unscheduled interruption of service furnished by any operator to ((twenty)) twenty-five or more distribution customers;

(f) Results in a pipeline or system pressure exceeding the MAOP plus ten percent or the maximum pressure allowed by proximity considerations outlined in WAC 480-93-020;

(g) Is significant, in the judgment of the operator, even though it does not meet the criteria of (a) through (e) of this subsection; or

(h) Results in the news media reporting the occurrence, even though it does not meet the criteria of (a) through (e) of this subsection.

(2) Operators must give notice to the commission by telephone within twenty-four hours of occurrence of every incident or hazardous condition arising out of its operations that results in:

(a) The uncontrolled release of gas for more than two hours;

(b) The taking of a high pressure supply or transmission pipeline or a major distribution supply pipeline out of service;

(c) A pipeline or system operating at low pressure dropping below the safe operating conditions of attached appliances and gas equipment; or

(d) A pipeline or system pressure exceeding the MAOP.

(3) Routine or planned maintenance and operational activities of the operator that result in operator-controlled plant and equipment shut downs, reduction in system pressures, flaring or venting of gas, and normal leak repairs are not reportable items under this section.

(4) Operators must provide to the commission a written report within thirty days of the initial telephonic report required under subsection (1) of this section. At a minimum, written reports must include the following:

(a) Name(s) and address(es) of any person or persons injured or killed, or whose property was damaged;

(b) The extent of such injuries and damage;

(c) A description of the incident or hazardous condition including the date, time, and place;

(d) A description of the gas facilities involved in the incident or hazardous condition, the system operating pressure at that time, and the MAOP of the facilities involved;

(e) The date and time the gas facility was made safe;

(f) The date, time, and type of any temporary or permanent repair made; and

(g) The cost of the incident to the operator.

(5) Operators must provide to the commission a written report within forty-five days of receiving the failure analysis of any incident or hazardous condition that was due to construction defects or material failure.

(6) Operators must file with the commission the following annual reports no later than March 15 for the preceding calendar year:

(a) A copy of every Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) F-7100.1-1 and F-7100.2-1 annual report required by U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Pipeline Safety.

(b) A report titled, "Damage Prevention Statistics((,))." ((with the corresponding PHMSA fiscal year.)) The Damage Prevention Statistics report must include in detail the following information:

(i) Number of gas-related one-call locate requests completed in the field;

(ii) Number of third-party damages incurred; and

(iii) Cause of damage, where cause of damage is classified as either:

(A) Inaccurate locate;

(B) Failure to use reasonable care; or

(C) Excavated prior to a locate being conducted.

(c) A report detailing ((the results from construction defects or)) all construction defects and material failures resulting in leakage. Operators must categorize the different types of construction defects and material failures anticipated for their system. The report must include the following:

(i) Types and numbers of construction defects; and

(ii) Types and numbers of material failures.

(7) Operators must file with the commission, and with appropriate officials of all municipalities where operators have facilities, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the responsible officials of the operator who may be contacted in the event of an emergency. In the event of any changes in operator personnel, the operator must notify immediately the commission and municipalities.

(8) Operators must send daily reports of construction and repair activities electronically to the commission. Operators may send reports either by facsimile or e-mail to the commission. The reports must be received no later than 10:00 a.m. each day of the scheduled work, and must include both operator and contractor construction and repair activities.

(9) When an operator is required to file a copy of a DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Management Information System (MIS) Data Collection Form with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Pipeline Safety, the operator must simultaneously submit a copy of the form to the commission.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.04.160, 80.28.210, and 80.01.040. 05-10-055 (Docket No. UG-011073, General Order No. R-520), 480-93-200, filed 5/2/05, effective 6/2/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040. 92-16-100 (Order R-375, Docket No. UG-911261), 480-93-200, filed 8/5/92, effective 9/5/92; Order R-28, 480-93-200, filed 7/15/71; Order R-5, 480-93-200, filed 6/6/69, effective 10/9/69.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office