Pipeline Safety

The federal pipeline safety statutes found at 49 U.S.C. § 60101 et seq., require the Secretary of Transportation to establish minimum federal safety standards for pipeline transportation 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 pipeline facilities used for intrastate transportation.

The State Corporation Commission has been designated as the appropriate state agency for the Commonwealth of Virginia to prescribe and enforce compliance with standards for jurisdictional pipeline facilities used for intrastate transportation. In Case No. PUE-1989-00052, the Commission adopted Parts 191, 192, 193, and 199 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations to serve as minimum gas pipeline safety standards in Virginia. The Commission is authorized to enforce the standards for natural gas facilities under § 56-257.2 B of the Code of Virginia, which allows the Commission to impose the fines and penalties authorized therein.

In Case No. PUE-1994-00070, the Commission adopted Parts 195 and 199 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations to serve as minimum intrastate hazardous liquids pipeline safety standards. The Commission is authorized to enforce the standards for liquid pipeline facilities under § 56-555 of the Code, which allows the Commission to impose the fines and penalties authorized therein.

The Commission's Division of Utility and Railroad Safety is charged with the investigation of each jurisdictional operator's compliance with the safety standards. Annually, the Division conducts various inspections of records, programs, construction, and operation and maintenance activities involving these operators.

Adopted Code of Federal Regulations:

Pipeline Safety Program Metrics

Guidance Documents:

Related links: