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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #PI-04-0102 ([Vermont Department of Public Service] [Mr. G.C. Morris])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Vermont Department of Public Service

Individual Name: Mr. G.C. Morris

Location State: VT Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:


U.S. Department of Transportation
Research and Special Programs Administration
400 Seventh St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590

March 24, 2004

Mr. G.C. Morris
Utilities Engineer—Gas
Vermont Department of Public Service
State Office Building, Drawer 20
112 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620-2601

Dear Mr. Morris:

This is in response to your e-mail of February 25, 2004, in which you request an interpretation of the provisions of the Federal gas pipeline safety regulations at 49 CFR 192.614, which exclude operators of certain small gas systems from requirements for a written damage prevention program.

Section 192.614(a) states that "[e]xcept as provided in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, each operator of a buried pipeline must carry out, in accordance with this section, a written program to prevent damage to that pipeline from excavation activities." Paragraph (d) notes that a damage prevention program is not required for offshore pipelines and pipelines where physical access is controlled by the operator.

Section 192.614(e) excludes certain small pipelines from some of the damage prevention program requirements. Section 192.614(e)(1) excludes pipelines operated by persons other than municipalities (including master meter systems) whose primary activity does not include the transportation of gas from the requirement to maintain a written damage prevention program. And, § 192.614(e)(2) excludes these pipelines from the requirements at §§ 192.614(c)(1) and (c)(2) to maintain a list of persons normally engaged in excavation near the pipeline and to notify persons near the pipeline of the damage prevention program.

It is important to note that master meter systems and other pipelines operated by persons whose primary activity is not the transportation of gas are only excluded from the requirement to have a written program in compliance with § 192.614(a). They are NOT excluded from requirements to provide temporary marking of buried pipelines in the area of excavation (§ 192.614(c)(5)), to provide for actual notification of persons planning excavations of the temporary marking scheme (§ 192.614(c)(4)), and to provide for inspection of pipelines near excavations to verify integrity (§ 192.614(c)(6)).

In addition, a gas operator is not excluded from the requirement to have a written damage prevention program merely because they are owned by a larger company whose primary business in not the transportation of gas. The pipeline safety regulations apply to the operator of the gas system. Section 192.614(e) (a) is clearly intended to apply to persons operating gas systems as a minor part of their business. This interpretation of the regulations cannot be altered by general language that may be contained in guidelines and other publications, including the Training Guide for Operators of Small LP Gas Systems, The Training Guide for Operators of Small LP Gas Systems, which was sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

If you have any further questions about the pipeline safety regulations, please contact me at (202) 366-4565.


Richard D. Huriaux, P.E.
Manager Regulations
Office of Pipeline Safety

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
192.614 Damage prevention program