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Division of Utility and Railroad Safety

Pipeline Safety

The (federal) accountable Pipeline Safety and Partnership Act of 1996 requires the Secretary of Transportation to establish minimum federal safety standards for the transportation of gas and hazardous liquid and pipeline facilities. The Secretary is further authorized to delegate to an appropriate state agency the authority to prescribe safety standards and enforce compliance with such standards over jurisdictional gas and hazardous liquid facilities.

The State Corporation Commission has been designated as the appropriate state agency for the Commonwealth to prescribe and enforce compliance with safety standards for jurisdictional gas and hazardous liquid companies. The Commission adopted Parts 191, 192, 193, 195, and 199 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations to serve as minimum pipeline safety standards in Virginia.

The Commission has safety jurisdiction for more than 16,100 miles of intrastate pipelines that transport natural gas and hazardous liquid through the Commonwealth. In addition the Commission has safety jurisdiction over approximately 200 natural gas master meter systems, two liquid natural gas and two natural gas storage facilities. The Division of Utility and Railroad Safety's trained engineers inspect facilities and construction, review records, and investigate incidents to ensure the safe operation of the jurisdictional pipeline facilities.

In 2001, the Division began inspection of approximately 1,150 miles of interstate liquid pipelines in Virginia in accordance with an agreement with the Federal Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS). The results of these inspections are provided to OPS for any enforcement action to bring about compliance with the safety regulations.

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Adopted Code of Federal Regulations:External Link logo

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