Page 6 - Texas811 Magazine 2020 Issue 3
P. 6

t is my understanding that the majority
oi -rerans believe that less goyeniment is
hest. l agree with this philosophy hut l
also understand that laws are necessary to
prevent a situation that may endanger liie, health
or property.
\V11En I lefl the Railroad Commission of Texas
(ERG) haclt in rehruary oi 2017 as the pipeline
salety Damage Prevention Program Manager:
the commission had received a total or over $30
million dollars in lines lrom pipeline operators
and eircayators since the program herame
efiectiye in 2007. The ERG has jurisdiction
over the operation and damage prevenlion nf
Who h as  underground gas and hazardous liquid pipelines.
These monetary penalties were ior alleged
to  t TAC chapter is underground Pipeline Damage
' Prevention violations recommended hy the
Pipeline salety Department's Damage Prevention
According to the Pipeline Damage Prevention
programs zcug statistical data ayailahle on the
Eu Um, Ems“ REC‘: wehsite, over 4o% oi the damages to
,wgg,, Dmwe underground gas or hazardous liquid pipelines
P’€ve(lnon ,,,,,,,,,9g, orcun-ed hecause a person, or company, did
not request a lorate tickel through the one—call
nolifiralion center hetore digging. Over 20%
were caused hy someone who did not verify the
location or the underground pipeline hy using
soit digging hand tools or varuuln excavation
to pothole/daylight/erpose the pipeline hetore
excavating wilh merlwanized equipment and
20% of the damages were caused hy a locating
error trom the underground pipeline operators
iwlmollse or contract locator or hy the pipeline
operator's incorrect underground lacility maps.
its unsettling to know that any one of these
damages could have caused an injury of iatality.
what you may not know is that the REC does not
have the authority to s1wul—dclwn an excavators
johsite or issue a cease and desist letter. -rhat
responsihility may he lett up to the local
authorities such as a municipality sheritrs other
or county attorney.
The Texas Ulilities Cod?‘ Chapter 7.51
underground Facility Damage Prevention and
salety Art states laws may he entorred hy local
county or district attorneys. No state agencies
have jurisdirlicln over these laws so cases
surrounding provisions afiecting the operation oi
utility iarilities may need to he settled in court.-
A . rerosaet 2020, sane s

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