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Iowa Enforcement Program

Operator compliance with state and federal pipeline safety regulations is monitored through a comprehensive inspection and enforcement program. The program is comprised of field inspections of operations, maintenance, and construction activities; programmatic inspections of operator procedures, processes, and records; incident investigations and corrective actions; and through direct dialogue with operator management. The agency or agencies below work in partnership with the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to assure pipeline operators are meeting requirements for safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of their facilities. The tables below provide a summary of probable violations discovered and compliance actions taken by the agency(ies) as a result of these activities. These data are reported annually as part of the state's annual pipeline safety program certification or agreement to PHMSA. Information on enforcement actions taken by PHMSA is available at the Pipeline Safety Enforcement Program homepage.

These tables provide a summary of probable violations identified and corrected during each year. Probable violations are alleged non-compliances with pipeline safety regulations. Although state enforcement procedures vary, operators are provided an opportunity to respond to these alleged non-compliances and defend their actions as part of resolving each case. Separate tables are provided for hazardous liquid and gas pipeline oversight. (A)

Gas: Probable Violations: 2001-2015 (1)
Year Number Found During Year Number Submitted to DOT for Action Number Corrected During Year
IOWA UTILITIES BOARD
2001 299 4 373
2002 313 4 269
2003 142 2 120
2004 158 0 147
2005 107 0 110
2006 140 0 55
2007 101 0 95
2008 52 0 157
2009 123 0 110
2010 173 0 105
2011 225 0 122
2012 248 0 252
2013 218 0 104
2014 201 0 132
2015 247 0 213

Number Found During Year: The number of new probable violations identified during the calendar year through inspections, investigations, and other means.

Number Submitted for DOT Action: The number of probable violations that are referred to PHMSA for Federal enforcement. Compliance actions may be referred to PHMSA in situations where the state pipeline safety program is not certified to take enforcement action on certain intrastate pipelines. For example, some states do not have enforcement authority of municipal pipeline systems. Furthermore, some state pipeline safety programs are authorized by PHMSA to inspect interstate pipelines on PHMSA's behalf as Interstate Agents. In these situations, any probable violations identified by Interstate Agents must be referred to PHMSA for enforcement.

Number Corrected During Year: The number of probable violations that were satisfactorily corrected during the calendar year. These could be violations identified in the current year as well as violations that were carried over from previous years. Violations are satisfactorily resolved when the operator provides evidence and satisfies the agency that the non-compliances have been properly addressed and corrected.

A compliance action is an action or series of sequential actions taken to enforce pipeline regulations. One compliance action can cover multiple probable violations. A compliance action may take the form of a letter warning of future penalties for continued violation, an administratively imposed monetary sanction or order directing compliance with the regulations, an order directing corrective action under hazardous conditions, a show-cause order, a criminal sanction, a court injunction, or a similar formal action. This table provides the number of compliance actions taken by the state agency in each year. It also provides the number and amount of civil penalties that were assessed each year to pipeline operators and the number and amount of civil penalties that were collected each year from operators. Because there are occasions where a civil penalty is assessed in one year but not collected until a following year, the amount assessed and collected in a given year may not always be the same. (A)

Gas: Compliance Actions: 2001-2015 (1)
Year Compliance Actions Taken Number of Penalties Assessed Dollars Assessed Number of Penalties Collected Dollars of Penalties Collected
IOWA UTILITIES BOARD
2001 40 0 0 0 0
2002 69 0 0 0 0
2003 30 0 0 0 0
2004 31 0 0 0 0
2005 26 1 54,000 1 54,000
2006 24 0 0 0 0
2007 31 0 0 0 0
2008 20 0 0 0 0
2009 36 0 0 0 0
2010 41 0 0 0 0
2011 45 1 10,000 1 10,000
2012 40 2 2,000 1 1,000
2013 85 0 0 0 0
2014 37 0 0 0 0
2015 63 0 0 0 0

Notes

  1. Some states do not have programs for both gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. Thus enforcement data is not shown when the state has no corresponding program. Alaska and Hawaii have neither a gas nor hazardous liquid pipeline safety programs. When a state has no program, oversight is provided by PHMSA.

Sources

  1. Federal State Tracking and Reporting web application (FedSTAR) as of March 31, 2016 for states with active PHMSA certification and/or agreement. NOTE: New Hampshire's (NH) data for the years 2005 through 2015 as of October 30, 2017.

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