Substitute House Bill No. 6680

Public Act No. 99-31

An Act Concerning Gas Pipeline Safety.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 16-271 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

[(a)] In order to effectuate the policies and provisions of sections 16-270 to 16-280, inclusive, and, when deemed necessary, to obtain uniformity in the formulation, administration and enforcement of any order, ruling or regulation issued thereunder, or promulgated by the duly constituted authority of the United States, pertaining to the regulating or handling of natural gas, the Department of Public Utility Control may confer, cooperate and enter into compacts with such authority; avail itself of records and facilities of, and make available records and facilities to, such authority; conduct joint investigations and hold joint hearings; issue orders, rulings and regulations jointly or concurrently with, or complementary to those issued by, such authority; and collaborate with such authority and others in the development and operation of measures for the increased safety of the transportation and distribution of natural gas within the state.

[(b) The Department of Public Utility Control may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, establishing intrastate gas pipeline safety standards, which may be more specific than federal standards where appropriate in relation to local circumstances or conditions and consistent with public safety, provided such standards recognize alternative instrumentalities and methodologies for achieving federal safety objectives and do not foreclose utilization of alternative instrumentalities and methodologies that conform to national engineering standards or industry practices.

(c) The Department of Public Utility Control may issue a waiver of federal safety standards in individual cases where warranted by local circumstances or conditions, consistent with public safety and authorized under 49 USCA Section 1672, as from time to time amended.]

Sec. 2. Section 16-280a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

As used in sections 16-280a to 16-280g, inclusive:

(1) "Person" means any individual, firm, joint venture, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association, municipality or cooperative 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;

(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;

(5) "Municipality" means a city, county, or any other political subdivision of the state;

(6) "Department" means the [state] Department of Public Utility Control;

(7) "Federal act" means [the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968] 49 USC Chapter 601.

Sec. 3. Section 16-280b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person who [distributes] engages in the transportation of gas or maintains [gas pipelines] pipeline facilities or owns any [gas distribution system or owns any natural gas] pipeline facilities within the state to violate any of the safety standards established by the Secretary of Transportation of the United States for the transportation of gas and pipeline facilities pursuant to the provisions of the federal act or any regulations adopted by the department pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section.

(b) The Department of Public Utility Control may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, establishing intrastate gas pipeline safety standards, which may be more specific than federal standards where appropriate in relation to local circumstances or conditions and consistent with public safety, provided such standards recognize alternative instrumentalities and methodologies for achieving federal safety objectives and do not foreclose utilization of alternative instrumentalities and methodologies that conform to national engineering standards or industry practices.

(c) The department may issue a waiver of federal safety standards in individual cases where warranted by local circumstances or conditions, consistent with public safety and authorized under the federal act.

Sec. 4. Section 16-280c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Each federal safety standard applicable to pipeline facilities and the transportation of gas established under the provisions of the federal act, as the same are, from time to time, made effective, or any regulation adopted by the department pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of section 16-280b, as amended by this act, shall be the standards of the state.

Sec. 5. Section 16-280d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Department of Public Utility Control shall require of any person who owns any [gas distribution system or owns a natural gas] pipeline facilities or who [distributes] engages in the transportation of gas or maintains [pipelines with] pipeline facilities within the state to maintain such records, make such reports and provide such [inspection] inspections as are required [under Section 12 of] by the federal act or by any regulation adopted by the department pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of section 16-280b, as amended by this act. The department may require the filing of such information as is necessary to determine compliance with applicable standards and regulations.

Sec. 6. Section 16-280e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any person who violates any provision of the federal act, [or] any regulation issued under the federal act, any provision of this chapter or any regulation adopted by the department pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of section 16-280b, as amended by this act, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed [ten] twenty-five thousand dollars for each such violation for each day that such violation persists, except that the maximum civil penalty under section 16-17 or 16-271 or this section shall not exceed five hundred thousand dollars for any related series of violations.

(b) Any such civil penalty may be compromised by the Department of Public Utility Control. In determining the amount of such penalty, or the amount agreed upon in compromise, the [appropriateness of such penalty to the size of the business of the person charged, the gravity of the violation, and the good faith of the person charged in attempting to achieve compliance, after notification of a violation, shall be considered] department shall consider the criteria set forth in 49 USC 60122(b), as amended.

Sec. 7. Section 16-280g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Sections 16-280a to 16-280g, inclusive, shall not apply to pipeline facilities and transportation of gas subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal [Power] Energy Regulatory Commission under the Natural Gas Act.

Sec. 8. Subsection (c) of section 16-345 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) "Public utility" means the owner or operator of underground facilities for furnishing electric, [distribution,] gas, telephone, telegraph, pipeline, sewage, water, community television antenna, steam or traffic signal service, including a municipal or other public owner or operator.

Approved May 27, 1999

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