The PUCN's Pipeline Safety Program involves the inspection of liquid propane and natural gas piping systems statewide.
PUCN gas pipeline engineers monitor the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of gas systems under the Commission's jurisdiction and Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 191 and 192, 193, and 199.
The PUCN's gas pipeline engineers also inspect local natural gas distribution companies (LDC), natural gas master metered distribution systems found mainly in mobile home parks (MHP), underground piping systems providing liquid petroleum gas (LPG) service to ten or more customers (mainly MHPs), and direct sales lateral customers (such as gold mines) whose pipelines are fed directly from large interstate supply lines. The PUCN only has jurisdiction over intrastate pipeline facilities. The PUCN does not have jurisdiction over pipeline facilities that are jurisdictional to the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which includes all hazardous liquid pipelines such as jet fuel, gasoline and other petroleum pipelines. However, the PUCN's gas pipeline engineers can act as agents for PHMSA during the inspection of construction projects for new interstate pipelines.
The applicable statutes and regulations that govern the PUCN's Pipeline Safety Program and civil penalty authority for pipeline safety violations are located at the following links:
Enforcement Data & Performance Metrics
- Inspection Summary Letters & Notice of Probable Violation Letters
In January each year, the PUCN's Regulatory Operations Staff opens a docket that contains all pipeline inspection summary letters and notice of probable violation letters filed throughout the year by the PUCN's pipeline safety engineers. The docket is numbered XX-01007. For example, in 2021 the docket was numbered 21-01007 and in 2022 it was 22-01007. To view inspection summary letters and notice of probable violations letters filed in the current year, visit the PUCN's Active Gas Dockets web page, scroll to the appropriate docket and click "view."
- Pipeline Safety Civil Penalty Docket Information
Information regarding the number of civil penalties issued (including dollar amounts) by the PUCN against jurisdictional pipeline operators is tabulated and reported to PHMSA on a yearly basis and can be found by clicking on the link in the “State Pipeline Safety Performance Metrics” section below, and then proceeding to the “Nevada Enforcement data” section. To find specifics regarding each pipeline safety civil penalty Docket visit the PUCN's Active Gas Dockets web page, scroll to the appropriate docket and click "view." Historic pipeline safety civil penalty Dockets can be found by searching under the “Completed Gas Dockets” tab.
- Information Regarding State and Federal Reportable
Pipeline Safety Incidents
Operator information regarding state and federal reportable pipeline safety incidents are filed every year with the PUCN along with the PUCN’s Regulatory Operations Staff’s investigation reports into federal reportable pipeline safety incidents. The docket number is XX-01001. For example, in 2013 the docket was number 13-01001; in 2014 it was 14-01001, and in 2015 it was 15-01001. To view incident reports in the current year, visit the PUCN's Active Gas Dockets web page and enter the Docket Number (example 15-01001) in the “Search
by Docket Number” and then click "view."
- Annual PHMSA Gas Base Grant Progress Report Filings
Each year the PUCN is required to submit a report to PHMSA outlining information about its pipeline safety program. PHMSA refers to this filing as the “Gas Base Grant Progress Report” and below is a copy of those annual filings going back to 2018. Those filings include data on the number of inspection days performed, number of operators, number of Federal Reportable Incidents, number of probable violations discovered, number of compliance actions taken, and other goals and accomplishments of the PUCN’s pipeline safety program.
- State Pipeline Safety Performance Metrics
PHMSA maintains an online database of liquid and gas pipelines for each state in the United States. The database contains statistics on incident trends and enforcement data, among other information, with data provided by each state's enforcement agency, which in Nevada is the PUCN. Visit PHMSA's State Pages to review pipeline safety performance metrics for Nevada.
- Pipeline Safety Trust Pipeline Safety Transparency Evaluation Information
Approximately every year, the Pipeline Safety Trust, which is a non-profit pipeline safety watchdog/advocacy group formed after the 1999 Bellingham Washington pipeline safety incident, conducts an annual evaluation and ranks public utility commission and state pipeline safety websites on their transparency and ease of finding key pipeline safety information. The PUCN’s ranking can be found at the following website: https://pstrust.org/trust-initiatives-programs/transparency-of-pipeline information/.
- Pipeline Locations in Nevada
Mapping information regarding where natural gas and liquid pipelines are located within Nevada can be found on the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) website. Users must enter Nevada in the state input box and then select the associated county of interest. The NPMS team has launched an iPhone app for this program. Find it in the Appstore by searching for "pipeline information."
- PHMSA Advisory Bulletins and Notices
The latest pipeline safety advisory bulletins and/or notices issued by PHMSA can be found at the following link: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/regulations/federal-register-documents.
- Intrastate Transmission Pipeline Permitting in Nevada
The PUCN, via the definition of utility facility contained in Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 704.860, has permitting authority over intrastate natural gas transmission pipeline projects. The permitting application is referred to as the Utility Environmental Permitting Act (UEPA) process and is outlined in NRS 704.820 through 704.900. Visit the PUCN’s Active Gas Dockets web page to view proposed intrastate transmission pipeline projects with active, pending UEPA permit requests.
- Interstate Transmission Pipeline Permitting in Nevada
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has permitting authority over interstate natural gas transmission pipeline projects. A recent example of this FERC permitting process was on Paiute Pipeline Company’s 35 mile Elko Area Expansion Project (FERC Docket No. CP-14-509). Information on proposed interstate natural gas transmission pipeline projects in Nevada can be found on FERC’s website at https://www.ferc.gov/industries-data/natural-gas/overview/natural-gas-pipelines.