The CPUC ensures that intra-state natural gas and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) pipeline systems are designed, constructed, operated, and maintained according to safety standards set by the CPUC and the federal government. CPUC gas safety engineers are trained and qualified by the federal government. The CPUC enforces natural gas and LPG safety regulations; inspects construction, operation, and maintenance activities; and makes necessary amendments to regulations to protect and promote the safety of the public, the utility employees that work on the gas pipeline systems, and the environment.
The CPUC endorses the system safety approach embodied in the federal government’s regulation of Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. State and federal regulators are tasked with ensuring that pipeline and hazardous materials operators have risk management programs in place, that those programs are designed in conformance with state and federal laws and regulations, that the programs are effective in enhancing public safety, the operator’s employees safety, environmental safety, and that the safety of the entire system and operation continues to improve.
The CPUC conducts operation and maintenance compliance inspections, accident investigations, reviews utilities’ reports and records, conducts construction inspections, conducts special studies, and takes action in response to complaints and inquiries from the public on issues regarding gas pipeline safety.
The CPUC also conducts audits and inspections of gas facilities owned and operated by mobile home parks, and conducts inspections of propane gas pipeline distributions systems.
Intra-state hazardous liquid pipelines are regulated by the Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM). Interstate pipelines are regulated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
The CPUC oversees the operation and safety of the five major investor-owned utilities who serve natural gas and LPG to the bulk of California residents and businesses: Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Southwest Gas Corporation, and Southern California Edison (Avalon LPG).
The CPUC is taking numerous steps to ensure public safety in the immediate and longer-term. The CPUC regularly performs field and headquarter inspections and audits of practices and procedures developed by these gas utilities. The utilities also perform audits and report to the CPUC on an ongoing basis their practices, procedures, and progress on a variety of issues.
Pipeline Rules and Regulations
Pipeline Sitting and Routing
Investor-owned utilities are required to obtain a permit from the CPUC for construction of certain specified infrastructure listed under Public Utilities Code sections 1001. Resources for permit applicants and public parties interested in participating in CPUC's environmental review are found in the permitting and environmental review section.
Mobile Home Parks
The CPUC regulates master-metered propane and natural gas distribution systems in mobile home parks.
The CPUC is currently conducting a three-year
(2015-2017) Mobile Home Park Utility Upgrade Pilot Program to convert master-metered
gas and/or electric facilities to direct utility service. For more details on
the program, please click on the following link:
on Rulemaking Proceeding 11-02-018 (R.11-02-018), which culminated in CPUC
Decision 14-03-021 (D.14-03-021) implementing the three-year Mobile Home Park
Utility Upgrade Pilot Program, please click on the following link:
The CPUC urges consumers and contractors to call 8-1-1 to have gas pipeline utilities locate and mark the gas pipeline facilities before beginning any work that involves excavation or digging in the ground.
PHMSA-Pipeline Safety Community
NAPSR-National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives