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Interpretation Response #PI-97-007 ([Office of Pipeline Safety] [Edward J. Ondak])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Office of Pipeline Safety

Individual Name: Edward J. Ondak

Location State: CO Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 17, 1997

Mr. Edward J. Ondak

Director, Western Regional Office

Office of Pipeline Safety

Suite A-250

12600 W. Colfax Avenue

Lakewood, CO 80215

Dear Mr. Ondak:

This responds to your letter of April 22, 1997, about emergency procedures under 49 CFR 192.615(a)(3)(I) for handling notices of gas detected inside buildings. You ask if we have an official position on what operators should tell someone who calls to report smelling gas inside a house. The question arises because some operators tell callers to leave the house immediately without first opening windows and doors. In contrast, the traditional response has been to tell callers to open all accessible windows and doors before exiting. In either case, the operator sends personnel to the site to investigate the report.

Section 192.615(a)(3)(I) allows operators latitude in responding to notices of gas odor inside buildings. As long as an operators response is prompt and is effective in minimizing the hazard, there would be little reason, if any, to challenge the appropriateness of the operators procedures. Given the pros and cons of taking time in a gas emergency to open windows and doors before exiting, we do not think there is sufficient reason to challenge the effectiveness of a response that tells callers to exit quickly without stopping to open windows and doors.

If you need additional information, please contact me.


Richard D. Huriaux

Director for Technology and Regulations

Office of Pipeline Safety

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
192.615 Emergency plans