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NATURAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY ACT OF 1968
Public Law 90481
90th Congress, S. 1166
August 12, 1968
AN ACT To authorize the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe safety stand
ards for the transportation of natural and other gas by pipeline, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the l'nited States of America in Congress assembled. That this Act may be cited as the “Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968”.
Sec. 2. As used in this Act
(1) “Person” means any individual, firm, joint venture, partnership, corporation, association, State, municipality, cooperative association, or joint stock association, and includes any trustee, receiver, assignee, or personal representative thereof;
(2) "Gas” means natural gas, flammable gas, or gas which is toxic or corrosive;
(3) “Transportation of gas” means the gathering, transmission or distribution of gas by pipeline or its storage in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce; except that it shall not include the gathering of gas in those rural locations which lie outside the limits of any incorporated or unincorporated city, town, village, or any other designated residential or commercial area such as a subdivision, a business or shopping center, a community development, or any similar populated area which the Secretary may define as a nonrural area;
(4) “Pipeline facilities” includes, without limitation, new and existing pipe rights-of-way and any equipment facility, or building used in the transportation of gas or the treatment of gas during the course of transportation but “rights-of-way” as used in this Act does not authorize the Secretary to prescribe the location or routing of any pipeline facility;
(5) "State" includes each of the several States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
(6) “Municipality” means a city, county, or any other political subdivision of a State;
(7) “National organization of State commissions” means the national organization of the State commissions referred to in part II of the Interstate Commerce Act;
(8) “Interstate transmission facilities” means the pipeline facilities used in the transportation of gas which are subject to the jurisdiction
of the Federal Power Commission under the Natural Gas Act, except that it shall not include any pipeline facilities within a State which transport gas from an interstate gas pipeline to a direct sales customer within such State purchasing gas for its own consumption;
(9) “Intrastate pipeline transportation" means pipeline facilities and transportation of gas within a State which are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Power Commission under the Natural Gas Act, except that it shall include pipeline facilities within a State which transport gas from an interstate gas pipeline to a direct sales customer within such State purchasing gas for its own consumption; and
(10) "Secretary” means the Secretary of Transportation.
SEC. 3. (a) As soon as practicable but not later than three months after the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall, by order, adopt
interim minimum Federal sa fety standards for pipeline facilities and the transportation of gas in each State the State standards regulating pipeline facilities and the transportation of gas within such State on the date on enactment of this Act. In any State in which no such standards are in effect, the Secretary shall, by order, establish interim Federal safety standards for pipeline facilities and the transportation of gas in such State which shall be such standards as are common to a majority of States having safety standards for the transportation of gas and pipeline facilities on such date. Interim standards shall remain in effect until amended or revoked pursuant to this section. Any State agency may adopt such addition or more stringent standards for pipeline facilities and the transportation of gas not subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Power Commission under the Natural Gas Act as are not incompatible with the Federal minimum standards, but may not adopt or continue in force after the interim standards provided for above become effective any such standards applicable to interstate transmission facilities.
(b) Not later than twenty-four months after the enactment of this Act, and from time to time thereafter, the Secretary shall, by order, establish minimum Federal safety standards for the transportation of gas and pipeline facilities. Such standards may apply to the design, installation, inspection, emergency plans and procedures, testing, construction, extension, operation, replacement, and maintenance of pipeline facilities. Standards affecting the design, installation, construction, initial inspection, and initial testing shall not be applicable to pipeline facilities in existence on the date such standards are adopted. Whenever the Secretary shall find a particular facility to be hazardous to life or property, he shall be empowered to require the person operating such facility to take such steps necessary to remove such hazards. Such Federal safety standards shall be practicable and designed to meet the need for pipeline safety. In prescribing such standards, the Secretary shall consider
(1) relevant available pipeline safety data;
(2) whether such standards are appropriate for the particular type of pipeline transportation;
(3) the reasonableness of any proposed standards; and
(4) the extent to which such standards will contribute to public
safety. Any State agency may adopt additional or more stringent standards for intrastate pipeline transportation if such standards are compatible with the Federal minimum standards. No State agency may adopt or continue in force any such standards applicable to interstate transmission facilities, after the Federal minimum standards become effective.
(c) Any standards prescribed under this section, and amendments thereto, shall become effective thirty days after the date of issuance of such standards unless the Secretary, for good cause recited, determines an earlier or later effective date is required as a result of the period reasonably necessary for compliance.
(d) The provisions of subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5 of the United States Code shall apply to all orders establishing, amending, revoking, or waiving compliance with, any standard established under this Act. The Secretary shall afford interested persons an op inity to participate fully in the establishment of such safety standards through submission of written data, views, or arguments with opportunity to present oral testimony and argument.
(e) Upon application by any person engaged in the transportation of gas or the operation of pipeline facilities, the Secretary may, after notice and opportunity for hearing and under such terms and conditions and to such extent as he deems appropriate, waive in whole or in part compliance with any standard established under this Act, if he determines that a waiver of compliance with such standard is not inconsistent with gas pipeline safety. The Secretary shall state his reasons for any such waiver. A State agency, with respect to which there is in effect a certification pursuant to section 5(a) or an agreement pursuant to section 5(b), may waive compliance with a safety standard in the same manner as the Secretary, provided such State agency gives the Secretary written notice at least sixty days prior to the effective date of the waiver. If, before the effective date of a waiver to be granted by a State agency, the Secretary objects in writing to the granting of the waiver, any State agency action granting the waiver will be stayed. After notifying such State agency of his objection, the Secretary shall afford such agency a prompt opportunity to present its request for waiver, with opportunity for hearing, and the Secretary shall determine finally whether the requested waiver may be granted
TECHNICAL PIPELINE SAFETY STANDARDS COMMITTEE
Sec. 4. (a) The Secretary shall establish a Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee. The Committee shall be appointed by the Secretary, after consultation with public and private agencies concerned with the technical aspect of the transportation of gas or the operation of pipeline facilities, and shall be composed of fifteen members each of whom shall be experienced in the safety regulation of the transportation of gas and of pipeline facilities or technically qualified by training and experience in one or more fields of engineering applied in the transportation of gas or the operation of pipeline facilities to evaluate gas pipeline safety standards. as follows:
(1) Five members shall be selected from governmental agencies, including State and Federal Governments, two of whom, after