Underground Construction - July 2019 - 17

* The pipeline operator's name and
telephone number
* Incident location
* The time of the incident
* The telephone number of the operator's
onsite person
Then, the following must be reported
"when the information is known by the
operator:"
* Fatalities and personal injuries
* The cost of gas lost
* Estimated property damage to the
operator and others
* Any other significant facts relevant to
the incident, including facts related to
ignition, explosion, rerouting of traffic,
evacuation of a building, and media
interest
* Other information required under
federal regulations to be provided to the
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration or a successor agency

Pipeline removal

tor's discovery of the incident."
An "incident" includes an event that
would require a report based on federal
law. Or, if an event has one or more of the
following consequences:
* Death or injury necessitating in-patient
hospitalization
* Estimated property damage greater than
or equal to $50,000 (excluding cost of
gas lost) or an amount requiring a report
under federal regulations
* Unintentional estimated gas loss
of 3 million cubic feet or more. A
"consequence" does not have to result in
explosion or a catastrophic event
Upon discovering such a consequence,
that starts a one-hour notification clock
requiring an incident report to the Texas
Railroad Commission (Texas' equivalent to
other states' public utility commissions).
The report must include:

HB 866 first sets a prohibition and then
requires action. The bill prohibits a distribution gas pipeline facility from installing
cast iron, wrought iron or bare steel
pipelines within an underground system.
Because of corrosion and cracking, cast
iron presents a particularly high danger in
natural gas pipelines.
Next, the bill directs the Railroad
Commission to require distribution gas
pipeline facilities do the following:
* Develop and implement a risk-based
program for the removal or replacement
of underground distribution gas pipeline
facilities
* Annually remove or replace at least "8
percent of underground distribution gas
pipeline facilities posing the greatest
risk in the system and identified for
replacement under the program."
Finally, the most specific, and likely
most pressing, directive: a distribution gas
pipeline facility operator shall replace any
known cast iron pipelines installed as part
of the operator 's underground system not
later than Dec. 31, 2021.
That 30-month deadline is fast approaching, of course, raising questions
from fellow Committee members at the
April 8 hearing. Basic concerns included
how much cast-iron pipe is out there, still

in service, and can utilities do it working at
a constant enough pace? Another concern:
community disruption from upcoming
construction and reconstruction. Finally,
there was question about whether there are
enough certified workers to complete this
work by deadline.

Pressed for time
Anchia added that HB 866 was developed
with stakeholder involvement. He said utilities think they can meet the new demands,
although skilled labor is a concern. He
explained how utilities have had to "reverse
engineer" their projections and planning,
particularly about meeting the cast iron
removal deadline. "They think they can
do it," Anchia told the Committee, but he
added, "it's gonna be a hustle."
Anchia estimated there are 1,000 miles
of bare steel pipeline in "north Texas
alone," but he did not have a breakout just
for cast iron. He said that Atmos Energy
has removed steel pipelines in every other
state in which it operates, but removal in
Texas has lagged. Anchia said this has been
a safety discussion since the 1970s.
It's important to keep in mind that there
are two parts to HB 866's replacement
demands. The cast iron replacement has
drawn more attention because of the 2021
deadline. But the second requirement is
also aggressive - removing or replacing
8 percent per year of high-risk pipelines.
Texas natural gas utilities have had an
annual, high-risk pipeline replacement
rate of about 5 percent, Anchia told the
Committee.
The increase in HB 866 to 8 percent
accelerates replacement by 60 percent. It's
also important to note the requirement
to first develop a risk-based program.
Undoubtedly, those programs, with budgets and goals, will be public documents
with progress and delays easy to monitor.

3rd bill dropped
A third pipeline bill - HB 868 - also introduced in January by Rep. Anchia, did not
move forward in the House. HB 868 would
have required utilities to place incident
notifications and leak reports, including
street addresses, on their websites. Citizens
and customers, then, armed with almost
real-time information, could track current,
UConOnline.com | JULY 2019

17


http://www.UConOnline.com

Underground Construction - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Underground Construction - July 2019

Contents
Underground Construction - July 2019 - FC
Underground Construction - July 2019 - IFC
Underground Construction - July 2019 - Contents
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 4
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 5
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 6
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 7
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 8
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 9
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 10
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 11
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 12
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 13
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 14
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 15
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 16
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 17
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 18
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 19
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 20
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 21
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 22
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 23
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 24
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 25
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 26
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 27
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 28
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 29
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 30
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 31
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 32
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 33
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 34
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 35
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 36
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 37
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 38
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 39
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 40
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 41
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 42
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 43
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 44
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 45
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 46
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 47
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 48
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 49
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 50
Underground Construction - July 2019 - IBC
Underground Construction - July 2019 - BC
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