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Pipeline Safety Stakeholder Communications

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Virginia 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
VIRGINIA STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION
2001 89 0 52
2002 512 0 218
2003 145 0 70
2004 193 0 117
2005 1,077 0 160
2006 80 0 567
2007 122 2 137
2008 194 40 79
2009 109 8 144
2010 465 2 465
2011 597 36 597
2012 322 24 322
2013 83 2 83
2014 63 8 71
2015 15 15 30
Hazardous Liquid: Probable Violations: 2001-2015 (1)
Year Number Found During Year Number Submitted to DOT for Action Number Corrected During Year
VIRGINIA STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION
2001 13 39 0
2002 4 20 2
2003 4 20 2
2004 0 10 0
2005 1 0 1
2006 0 10 0
2007 1 4 1
2008 0 2 0
2009 3 4 3
2010 1 0 1
2011 0 0 0
2012 1 6 1
2013 1 0 1
2014 0 2 0
2015 0 0 0

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
VIRGINIA STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION
2001 67 4 56,900 4 56,900
2002 14 2 57,000 2 57,000
2003 3 3 173,150 3 173,150
2004 4 4 148,800 4 148,800
2005 71 8 540,800 8 540,800
2006 11 8 491,450 8 491,450
2007 4 4 137,925 4 137,925
2008 4 4 319,750 4 319,750
2009 4 4 323,000 4 323,000
2010 10 10 1,196,600 10 1,196,600
2011 6 6 463,650 6 463,650
2012 9 9 787,675 9 787,675
2013 6 6 627,550 6 627,550
2014 7 7 741,000 7 741,000
2015 4 4 296,000 4 296,000
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
VIRGINIA STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION
2001 2 0 0 0 0
2002 0 0 0 0 0
2003 0 0 0 0 0
2004 0 0 0 0 0
2005 0 0 0 0 0
2006 4 0 0 0 0
2007 0 0 0 0 0
2008 0 0 0 0 0
2009 1 1 14,000 1 14,000
2010 1 1 9,500 1 9,500
2011 1 1 9,500 1 9,500
2012 1 1 2,000 1 2,000
2013 1 1 2,000 1 2,000
2014 0 0 0 0 0
2015 0 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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