|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018|
The OSHA hazard communication standard, the community right-to-know regulations under Title III of the federal Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act, and comparable state statutes require us to organize and disclose information about the hazardous materials used in our operations. Certain parts of this information must be reported to federal, state and local governmental authorities and local citizens upon request. These laws and provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) require us to report spills and releases of hazardous chemicals in certain situations.
We are subject to extensive regulation by the DOT authorized under various provisions of Title 49 of the United States Code and comparable state statutes relating to the design, installation, testing, construction, operation, replacement and management of our pipeline facilities. These statutes require companies that own or operate pipelines to (i) comply with such regulations, (ii) permit access to and copying of pertinent records, (iii) file certain reports and (iv) provide information as required by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. We believe we are in material compliance with these DOT regulations.
We are subject to DOT pipeline integrity management regulations that specify how companies should assess, evaluate, validate and maintain the integrity of pipeline segments that, in the event of a release, could impact High Consequence Areas (“HCAs”). HCAs include populated areas, unusually sensitive areas and commercially navigable waterways. The regulation requires the development and implementation of an integrity management program that utilizes internal pipeline inspection techniques, pressure testing or other equally effective means to assess the integrity of pipeline segments in HCAs. These regulations also require periodic review of HCA pipeline segments to ensure that adequate preventative and mitigative measures exist and that companies take prompt action to address integrity issues raised in the assessment and analysis process. We have identified our pipeline segments in HCAs and developed an appropriate integrity management program for such assets.
The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (the “Pipeline Safety Act”) provides for regulatory oversight of the nation’s pipelines, penalties for violations of pipeline safety rules, and other DOT matters. The Pipeline Safety Act increases penalties for non-compliance with its regulations for a single violation from $100,000 to $200,000 and imposes a maximum fine for the most serious pipeline safety violations involving deaths, injuries or major environmental harm of $2 million per incident. In addition, the act includes additional safety requirements for newly constructed pipelines.
DOT regulations have incorporated by reference the American Petroleum Institute Standard 653 (“API 653”) as the industry standard for the inspection, repair, alteration and reconstruction of storage tanks. API 653 requires regularly scheduled inspection and repair of such tanks. These periodic tank maintenance requirements may result in significant and unanticipated capital and operating expenditures for repairs or upgrades deemed necessary to ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of our storage tanks.
In January 2015, former President Obama announced plans to regulate methane emissions attributable to the upstream oil and gas industry, including activities related to gathering and compression, as a greenhouse gas. See “Climate Change Debate” within this Regulatory Matters section. This announcement indicated that the DOT through its Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”), would be issuing new natural gas regulations with the intent to improve safety as well as to reduce methane emissions.
In October 2015, the PHMSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing new or revised regulations of hazardous liquid pipelines in light of the lessons learned from significant hazardous liquid pipeline accidents, including proposals to: extend reporting requirements to all hazardous liquid gravity and gathering lines; require inspections of pipelines in areas affected by extreme weather; require periodic inline integrity assessments of hazardous liquid pipelines in all locations; modify the provisions for making pipeline repairs; require all pipelines subject to the integrity management requirements be capable of accommodating inline inspection tools within 20 years, with certain exceptions; and clarification of other regulations to improve certainty and compliance.