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Pipeline Safety Stakeholder Communications

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Texas 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
RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS
2001 2,942 N/A 3,174
2002 3,002 N/A 2,311
2003 4,352 N/A 2,730
2004 3,884 N/A 3,197
2005 2,242 N/A 3,684
2006 2,563 N/A 2,862
2007 2,052 N/A 1,934
2008 2,007 N/A 1,871
2009 2,100 N/A 1,939
2010 2,661 N/A 2,047
2011 1,946 N/A 2,238
2012 1,834 N/A 1,721
2013 1,666 N/A 1,970
2014 1,653 N/A 1,535
2015 1,127 N/A 1,035
Hazardous Liquid: Probable Violations: 2001-2015 (1)
Year Number Found During Year Number Submitted to DOT for Action Number Corrected During Year
RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS
2001 272 N/A 235
2002 238 N/A 188
2003 481 N/A 198
2004 619 N/A 561
2005 274 N/A 564
2006 55 N/A 63
2007 189 N/A 75
2008 123 N/A 136
2009 126 N/A 226
2010 103 N/A 82
2011 193 N/A 156
2012 188 N/A 144
2013 202 N/A 186
2014 132 N/A 187
2015 178 N/A 138

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
RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS
2001 488 13 267,750 13 267,750
2002 403 12 81,150 11 77,150
2003 613 8 15,000 8 15,000
2004 779 2 17,500 2 17,500
2005 743 4 29,500 4 29,500
2006 786 5 42,250 5 42,250
2007 698 10 172,415 9 164,415
2008 708 10 39,225 10 39,225
2009 469 17 94,656 17 94,656
2010 580 7 37,900 7 37,900
2011 488 16 60,500 16 60,500
2012 439 9 168,500 9 168,500
2013 356 11 51,500 11 51,500
2014 381 15 392,750 15 392,750
2015 352 21 304,250 21 304,250
Hazardous Liquid: Compliance Actions: 2001-2015 (1)
Year Compliance Actions Taken Number of Penalties Assessed Dollars Assessed Number of Penalties Collected Dollars of Penalties Collected
RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS
2001 48 2 127,500 2 127,500
2002 37 1 8,250 1 8,250
2003 61 0 0 0 0
2004 157 2 17,230 2 17,230
2005 149 0 0 0 0
2006 68 2 21,250 2 21,250
2007 50 4 86,000 4 86,000
2008 50 2 4,250 2 4,250
2009 35 2 6,000 2 6,000
2010 37 2 48,500 2 48,500
2011 38 2 8,587 2 8,587
2012 34 3 18,750 3 18,750
2013 42 6 71,000 6 71,000
2014 33 3 93,000 3 93,000
2015 29 1 16,000 1 16,000

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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