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CPUC Pipeline Safety Frequently Asked Questions Oct. 8, 2010 - page 3 / 6

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anomalies, and areas at which corrosion activity may have occurred or may be occurring. The direct examination step consists of prioritizing the indications found during the indirect inspections, excavating to expose the pipe surface so that measurements can be made on the pipeline, evaluating the remaining strength, performing root cause analyses, and evaluating the process. The post assessment step consists of defining the reassessment intervals and assessing the overall effectiveness of the ECDA process.

Q: Do funds allocated during a General Rate Case stay within maintenance or can they be transferred elsewhere? Does a utility need permission from the CPUC to shift funds between funding categories? A: In most cases, when the CPUC issues a decision on a utility’s General Rate Case application or in the Gas Accord proceedings (PG&E’s Gas Transmission and Storage revenue requirement request), the CPUC adopts a revenue requirement and the investor-owned utility (IOU) has the discretion to determine how best to use that revenue to operate its system. The IOUs do not need permission from the CPUC to shift funds between funding categories. In very limited circumstances, the CPUC has approved a specific funding amount for a specific type of work (tree trimming for example). In that case, those funds can only be used for that purpose and cannot be shifted elsewhere.

Q: What are the specific records the CPUC looks at when it conducts an audit? A: A typical General Order 112-E audit involves review of records of operations and maintenance at the operator’s local division or district. The following is a list of records most commonly reviewed during this type of audit:

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    leak survey

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    leak repairs

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    cathodic protection survey and repairs

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    atmospheric corrosion control monitoring

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    line patrolling records

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    compressor station procedures and inspection/maintenance records

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    pressure limiting and regulating stations inspection records

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    valve inspections and repairs

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    vault maintenance

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    odorization sampling

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    identifying changes in Class Locations and review of the maximum allowable operating

pressure (MAOP)

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    pipeline testing records for new segments placed in service

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    uprating records

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    operator qualification records

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    one-call tickets in response to the damage prevention program

Program-specific audits are also conducted. These audits include a review of the operator’s processes and procedures for compliance with 49 CFR Part 192. The following is a list of program-specific audits:

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    Operation, Maintenance, and Emergency Plans

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    Operator Qualification

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