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PUC Pipeline Safety Program Inspections

Following are the types of inspections conducted by the PUC.

Standard Inspection (General Code Compliance)
This inspection includes a comprehensive and thorough review of an operator's compliance records, operations and maintenance plans, emergency procedures, public awareness plans, drug and alcohol programs and pipeline facilities.  At a minimum a Standard Inspection shall include an evaluation of corrosion control, leakage surveys, overpressure protection and pressure regulating equipment, odorization levels and equipment, repaired and/or active leaks, emergency valves, emergency response, etc. The inspection shall also include field verification of an operator's compliance records.

The inspection may include individual day(s) exclusively devoted to the inspection of particular item(s) listed above. For example, exclusive day(s) inspecting/evaluating regulator stations, valves, odorization, leak surveys, corrosion, etc., shall be considered Standard Inspection days.

All inspections are considered a Standard Inspection unless otherwise noted.

Construction Inspection
This includes an inspection of all construction activities, evaluation of design and the integrity testing of new or replacement facilities.  Operators are queried annually for major construction activities.

Operator Training Inspection
Training and Qualifications seminars and operator assistance visits will constitute the two major types of operator training inspections. Training may be conducted on location or at a common site for multiple operators.

Integrity Management (Transmission) Inspection
This involves the use of federal protocols and inspection activities associated with the process. The inspection shall include a submission of results into the federal database.

Distribution Integrity Management Inspection
The inspection is based on guidelines established through federal rulemaking. This shall include submission of results into a federal database.

Operator Qualification Inspection
The inspection is based on the use of federal protocol elements. Results shall be submitted into the federal database. Inspector time shall be reported in OQ Element 9 if the inspection is primarily spent on such activities. If not, time shall be reported in the respective category.

Investigating Incidents/Accidents
This includes the inspection of any incident/accident activities as well as any pertinent follow-up investigative activities.

Damage Prevention Activities
This inspection considers training, public education, enforcement and similar activities.

Compliance Follow-up Inspection
This inspection or evaluation is conducted to determine if actions are completed by operator as requested in a previous inspection or compliance action.

Special Field Inspections
These inspections include:
  • Pressure control and overpressure protection
  • Leak surveys
  • Meter sets and farm tap random surveys
  • Corrosion
  • Other as determined by the program manager