PIOGA Opposes Bill to Regulate Unregulated PA Gathering Pipelines

PIOGAIn just about every state in the country, before you start digging a hole in the ground for some reason (water well, septic system, laying an underground electric line, etc.)–the first thing you do is call 811 or some similar phone number. The “one call” or “first call” reaches a state-authorized (not necessarily state-run) office where they have, on file, maps detailing any kind of underground cables, pipelines and other infrastructure. If such underground structures exist, a representative of the owner for the underground line will, if necessary, stop by and mark the areas so when you do begin digging, you don’t hit it. Makes sense. A bill under active consideration in the Pennsylvania legislature, Senate Bill (SB) 1235, “enhances” the existing 811 law in PA. One of the “enhancements” is that it removes an exclusion for low-pressure natural gas gathering pipelines from being required to be part of the 811 system. Many owners of excluded lines voluntarily participate in the programs. The bill also would transfer regulatory enforcement power over the lines from the Department of Labor to the Public Utility Commission. The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA) is pushing back against the removal of the exclusion for conventional production lines and the most rural (“Class 1” under federal law) gathering lines…

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