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Legislative Year: 2021 Change
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Bill Detail: SB21-108

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Title Public Utilities Commission Gas Utility Safety Inspection Authority
Status Governor Signed (07/06/2021)
Bill Subjects
  • Energy
  • State Government
House Sponsors L. Cutter (D)
T. Bernett (D)
Senate Sponsors T. Story (D)
House Committee Energy and Environment
Senate Committee Transportation and Energy
Date Introduced 02/18/2021
Summary

Section 1 of the bill declares that, due to recent dramatic increases
in both the extraction and transportation of natural gas and the
construction of new homes and businesses in close proximity to these

activities, it is appropriate to consolidate, strengthen, and streamline the
safety regulations that apply to natural gas pipeline utilities.
Section 2 updates and clarifies the duty of the public utilities
commission (PUC) to collaborate with the United States department of
transportation (DOT) on pipeline safety issues by:
  • Formally accepting responsibility to enforce DOT pipeline
safety rules; and
  • Adopting rules at the state level as needed to comply with
federal requirements. The PUC's rules may be more
stringent than required by federal standards in specified
areas.
Section 3 amends existing penalty provisions for pipeline safety
violations by:
  • Increasing the penalty cap from $100,000 per violation to
$200,000, and increasing the aggregate total from $1
million to $2 million;
  • Allowing the PUC to recover court costs if it must sue to
recover any penalty assessed against a violator; and
  • Requiring any compromise of a penalty to be based on
objective metrics and factors, including the severity of the
violation, the extent to which the violator has remedied the
conditions that led to the violation, and the amount the
violator agrees to spend on approved measures to reduce
future risk. Any such compromise may not reduce the
amount payable as a penalty below $5,000 per violation.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
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Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (08/30/2021) (most recent)  
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