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Interpretation Response #PI-77-003 ([North Carolina Natural Gas Corporation] [Arthur P. Gnann, Jr.])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: North Carolina Natural Gas Corporation

Individual Name: Arthur P. Gnann, Jr.

Location State: NC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

January 26, 1977

Mr. Arthur P. Gnann, Jr.

Vice President, Operations
North Carolina Natural Gas Corporation
Drawer 909
Fayetteville, North Carolina 28302

Dear Mr. Gnann:

This responds to your letter of December 1, 1976, regarding the construction of a paved roadway and other utility services over a 4-inch gas transmission line and the resulting reduction in ground cover over the pipeline.

Several questions are asked which in general relate to the applicability of the Federal gas pipeline safety standards, 49 CFR Part 192, or other Federal laws to persons other than the operator of a gas pipeline.

First, while a paved roadway may be considered a "structure" as that term is used under Section 192.327(c), that section of the safety standards does not appear applicable to your situation. Section 192.327 prescribes minimum cover requirements which must be met when a pipeline is readied for service or replaced, relocated, or otherwise changed. The rule does not have continuing legal effect thereafter, and once cover is installed, it need not be maintained in accordance with §192.327. However, if cover over an existing pipeline is eroded or otherwise remove, as by grading, an operator who knows of the reduction in cover is required by Sections

192.613 and 192.703 to consider the effect of the loss of cover on the safety of the pipeline and take appropriate remedial action if necessary.

The Federal gas pipeline safety standards are enforceable only against persons who own or operate pipelines and do not apply to third parties or outside contractors who may interfere with a pipeline, such as by construction of a roadway. We are not familiar with Federal laws relating to road construction, and do not now whether such construction is prohibited or limited by those laws.

Basically, under 49 CFR Part 192, operators are required to take whatever remedial action is necessary to operate and maintain their pipeline systems in accordance with the safety standards. Refusal or inability of persons other than the operator to correct unsafe situations which they have created on an operator's pipeline does not relieve the operator of its responsibility for compliance with Part 192.

We believe that a solution to your compliance problem may involve determining the extent of your right under common law regarding the 4-inch transmission line and possibly legal action to enforce those rights.



Cesar DeLeon
Acting Director

Office of Pipeline

Safety Operations

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
192.613 Continuing surveillance