Text Box: Master Meter Systems

AZCC Master Meter Policy Update

In November 2018 the Corporation Commission voted to approve and adopt a new policy regarding natural and propane gas master meter systems throughout the state. The new policy requires existing master meter systems to either remain or come fully into compliance with state and federal regulations or be converted to a traditional gas system operated by a regulated public service corporation. If operators choose to come into compliance with state and federal regulations, they will have a five-year grace period during which they may not be fined for noncompliance, however, the Corporation Commission retains its authority to shut down systems that pose an immediate threat to public safety.


There are currently over 900 gas-related master meter systems throughout the state. They are run by the owners of the property on which they exist, indirectly making property owners gas operators, bringing with that the burden of complying with stringent state and federal regulations. Many of these master meter systems are antiquated and nearing the end of their lifecycles, leading to potential health and safety risks. When such systems go down, it does not impact just a few users, but the entire network of the system, leaving Arizonans without critical utility services such as hot water and heat.


Information on the Commissioner's decision may be found in our November Open Meeting Highlights news release.


Read our new inspection guidelines which take effect January 1, 2019.


Print and post our flyer.


 

What is a Master Meter System?
Arizona State Rule (http://apps.azsos.gov/public_services/Title_14/14-05.pdf) defines a Master Meter as; physical facilities for distributing gas within a definable area where the operator purchases metered gas from a public service corporation to provide gas service to two or more buildings other than at a single family residence. 

  • Master metered facilities are classified into two priorities for inspections.
  • All priority 1 facilities are inspected on an annual basis. These facilities are usually defined as special needs facilities and or facilities where the public congregates such as schools, churches, hospitals, etc.
  • 50% of priority 2 facilities are inspected every year with the remaining percentage inspected during the following calendar year and consist of mobile home parks, apartments, industrial facilities, hotels/motels, prisons, etc.

 

What does the ACC Pipeline Safety Office inspect?
Arizona State Rule (http://apps.azsos.gov/public_services/Title_14/14-05.pdf) R14-5-207 (S):  To ensure compliance with provisions of this rule, the Commission or an authorized representative thereof, may enter the premises of an operator of a master meter system to inspect and investigate the property, books, papers, business methods, and affairs that pertain to the operation of the master meter system.

  • Master meter inspections consist of a complete review of the operator’s plans and records to confirm that all required maintenance and gas pipeline activities are being completed according to federal and state regulations. A physical inspection of the entire gas system is conducted with the operator during these inspections.
  • Following the inspection, the Master Meter operator is provided a copy of the inspection report and any violations are fully explained to the operator. 
  • Each Master Meter operator has 30 days to either make the necessary corrections or provide a schedule detailing when these corrections will be completed.
  • Follow-up inspections are conducted as needed to assure the operator has corrected all violations noted during their inspection.
  • Inspections are also conducted on all new construction and repairs performed by operators to assure that workmanship and materials meet federal and state regulations.
  • The failure of any master meter operator to comply in a timely manner could result in enforcement action and ultimately in termination of gas service to the facility.
  • To aid master meter operators in achieving compliance, the office of pipeline safety offers:
    • Plan and record keeping resources.
Pre-sectionSection 1  Section 2
 
  
   
    
Section 3Section 4 Section 5
 
  
  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
    
Section 6Section 7 Section 8
 
   
   
   
    
Section 9Section 10 Section 11
Pipeline Safety Rules 9-30-16 
   
    
Section 12Section 13 Section 14
 
   
    
Section 15   
   
   
    
  • A comprehensive training seminar free to all Master Meter operators and their staff.

Are Master Meter Operators required to be qualified?
As of April 27, 2001 all operators of gas distribution systems including master meter operators must have a written operator qualification plan (OQPLAN) for individuals performing covered tasks on a pipeline facility. An operator of a master meter system is that person who purchases metered gas from a public service corporation to provide gas service to two (2) or more buildings other than at a single-family residence.

The master meter operator may develop their own written OQPLAN or purchase one from an outside source.  For interested master meter operators, a written OQPLAN is available at no charge from the Arizona Corporation Commission, Pipeline Safety Section, 1300 W. Washington Street, Suite 220, Phoenix, Arizona 85007.  For master meter operators that use the Pipeline Safety written OQPLAN, there is a requirement to attend a Pipeline Safety master meter training seminar.  An Operator must attend a Pipeline Safety master meter training seminar every 36 months to meet the attendance requirement of the Pipeline Safety written OQPLAN.  These seminars are presented at no cost to the operator (click below for schedule and registration).

Distribution Integrity Management Plan ("DIMP"):

DIMP is a newly enacted regulation by the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”). The purpose of this new regulation effective January 1, 2012 is to assure that operators of gas distribution systems (including MM operators and small LPG operators) have the necessary knowledge of their system and its operation to assure that all necessary actions are being taken to mitigate as many of the associated risks to the public as possible. Click below links for additional information:

DIMP - Cover Letter

DIMP - Procedure

DIMP - Plan

Master Meter Training Seminars
One-day seminars addressing the responsibilities of master meter operators providing assistance in complying with the standards, regulations and reports for the State of Arizona. These seminars are presented free of charge to master meter operators.

Master Meter Training Class Schedule (2018-2019)

Master Meter Training Class Schedule (2019-2020)

Master Meter Training Class Registration Form

This form can now be filled in and emailed to: safety@azcc.gov.

Master Meter Annual Report
Operators of a master meter system will file an annual report with the Commission on Commission Form MM-04, "Annual Report for Calendar Year 20___, Small Operators of Gas Distribution System," incorporated by reference, and copies available from the Office of Pipeline Safety, 1300 W. Washington Street, Suite 220, Phoenix, AZ 85007. This report will be filed with the Office of Pipeline Safety not later than April 15 for the preceding calendar year.

Master Meter Annual Report Form