RRC Adopts New Pipeline Permit Rule

Pipeline Operators Must Verify Common Carrier Status When Applying for T-4 Permit

Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) commissioners have adopted pipeline permit rule amendments designed to clarify how a pipeline operator may be classified by the commission as a common carrier*. Common carrier pipelines in Texas are pipelines which are contracted to carry crude petroleum, gas or carbon dioxide for hire.

The rule amendments require pipeline operators to verify their claim to be a common carrier when applying for a T-4 Permit to operate a pipeline or when renewing, amending or canceling an existing permit.

Commissioner Barry Smitherman said, “The Commission’s T-4 Permit to Operate is a permit to operate a pipeline in Texas. It does not change the rights of a property owner nor does it grant eminent domain powers to a pipeline operator. Our new rules require an attestation from the operator of their knowledge of Texas eminent domain laws and the Texas Landowners’ Bill of Rights.”

The adopted rule amendments take effect on March 1, 2015, and include the following requirements:

  • permit applications must now include additional information including requested classification and purpose of the pipeline or pipeline system as a common carrier, a gas utility or private line operator;
  • permit applications must include a sworn statement from the pipeline applicant providing the operator’s factual basis supporting the classification and purpose being sought for the pipeline;
  • if applicable, the pipeline operator must submit documentation such as a contract or tariff for third-party transportation in the case of a common carrier, along with any other information requested by the Commission;
  • the pipeline T-4 permit, if granted, shall be revocable at any time after a hearing if the Commission finds that the pipeline is not being operated in accordance with state laws and Commission rules and regulations.
  • the applicant must acknowledge the eminent domain provisions in the Texas Landowner’s Bill of Rights.

Common carrier – a common carrier offers its services to the general public under license or authority provided by a regulatory body.

Read more at rrc.state.tx.us