The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has authority under state law to oversee the construction, operation and maintenance of intrastate pipelines – basically those pipelines that begin and end within Arizona’s borders,
such as those operated by Southwest Gas Corporation, UniSource Natural Gas, and various municipal systems. The ACC exercises its authority over these and other intrastate pipeline operators by administering and enforcing Arizona’s Pipeline
Safety Rules (http://apps.azsos.gov/public_services/Title_14/14-05.pdf).
This is the primary function of ACC’s Pipeline Safety Section, which in accordance with the rules, conducts regular inspections of intrastate systems and also performs specialized and construction inspections. If Pipeline Safety Section
inspectors discover a safety violation, the staff can take the necessary steps to see that the violation is corrected – up to and including recommending fines against the operator.
Under federal pipeline safety laws, the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT), Office of Pipeline Safety, has exclusive regulatory authority over pipelines that are defined as interstate pipelines – those pipelines
used to transport gas and hazardous liquids across state lines throughout the nation.
In Arizona, interstate pipelines include natural gas facilities operated by El Paso Natural Gas/Kinder Morgan, Questar and Transwestern, and liquid fuel lines operated by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners. Federal pipeline safety laws preempt any
state from regulating interstate pipeline safety. Accordingly, only the US DOT may impose sanctions against interstate operators for violating federal pipeline safety regulations.
The US DOT Office of Pipeline Safety has authorized the ACC’s Pipeline Safety Section to perform the required federal inspections and audits of interstate operators with facilities in Arizona. This delegated authority and our ability to
perform these inspections for the federal office requires that we adhere to specific conditions and terms contained in an agreement (Interstate Agent Agreement), which may be renewed annually. When we find a potential or probable violation
of federal pipeline safety standards, we submit a report with recommendations to the US DOT regarding enforcement action. It is then up to the federal office to enforce the federal laws governing pipeline safety.
The ACC’s pipeline safety program continues to be one of the most highly-regarded state pipeline safety offices in the country, receiving a maximum score of “100” on the majority of its annual certifications from the US DOT office
since 1995. In addition, ACC’s Pipeline Safety Section staff are often called upon to assist with federal and state operator training programs.
The federal Office of Pipeline Safety maintains a very helpful website with links to pertinent regulations and detailed information about the office and its responsibilities. View the website at http://phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline.
As a joint government-industry effort between the US DOT’s Office of Pipeline Safety, other federal and state agencies, and the pipeline industry, the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) is a database that contains the locations and
selected attributes of natural gas transmission lines, hazardous liquid lines and other related facilities. You can go online to http://www.npms.rspa.dot.gov/ and
click on “Find Out Who’s Operating Pipelines in Your Area” to input your county or zip code. The database will provide you with contact information so you can learn more from the pipeline operator.
The NPMS is created from mandatory submissions of pipeline and LNG facility data by pipeline operators. The NPMS National Repository is responsible for collecting, processing, and building a national seamless pipeline database from the submitted
This website serves to provide up-to-date NPMS information to federal and state governments, the pipeline industry and to the public. By filling out an application on this same website, state and local governments and emergency response personnel
can apply for password-protected access to more detailed information through the NPMS system.
Inspection reports for intrastate operators are state records and can be requested from the ACC. These reports become final once the report is submitted to the pipeline operator. Simply make your request in writing under the Arizona
Public Records Act, referencing ARS Sections 39-121 et seq. To help us respond effectively to your request, please provide as much information as possible specifying the type of information you are requesting and the time period you wish to
be covered. Please provide a phone number and contact person in case we have questions as we begin fulfilling your request. Although it is not required, stating the reason for your request would be helpful as we may know of additional information
that could be valuable to you. Intrastate public records requests should be sent to:
Arizona Corporation Commission Pipeline Safety Program Manager 1300 W. Washington Street, Suite 220 Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Phone: (602) 262-5601 Fax: (602) 262-5620
All records relating to inspections or investigations of interstate natural gas or hazardous liquid pipeline facilities are the property of the United States and are subject to federal law. The ACC’s Interstate Agent Agreement
requires that requests for federal pipeline safety records must be deferred to the US DOT Office of Pipeline Safety. In making such requests, we recommended that you specify that the request is being made according to the federal Freedom of
Information Act (5 USC 522), and that you address the request to:
U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E. Washington, DC 20590-0001