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Pipeline Permitting & Mapping


All operators of a pipeline or gathering system are required to have a valid T-4 Pipeline Permit, with the exception of operators of production or flowlines or those excluded under Rule 16 TAC §8.1(b)(4). Operators must obtain a T-4 Pipeline Permit, which must be renewed annually, before operating a pipeline. Find out about these requirements in the Railroad Commission’s (RRC) Rules 16 TAC §3.70.

Before a T-4 Pipeline Permit is filed, the operator needs to have an approved P-5 Organization Report. A P-5 Organization Report and financial security (bond, letter of credit, cash deposit and, in the case of wells, a well-specific plugging insurance policy) are required of all companies performing operations under the jurisdiction of the Commission, including pipeline companies, with the exception of gas distribution pipelines which are not required to provide financial security.

A T-4 Pipeline Permit collects a variety of information including: who is operating the pipeline; where the pipeline is located (the counties, mileage, offshore or onshore); how the pipeline will be operated (gas utility, common carrier or private pipeline); and the pipeline characteristics which are located in A Guide to Shapefile Submissions

Each operator shall file for a T-4 Pipeline Permit through the Pipeline Online Permitting System (POPS) via the RRC Online System. Please refer to Texas RRC – Instructions for Filing a Form T-4 Online for assistance when filing

Print and complete the Security Administrator Designation (SAD) form, then scan and email the completed form to the Commission at rrconline-security@rrc.texas.gov. When the SAD form is processed, the designated security administrator will receive a User ID and a temporary password for logging into the RRC Online System. After changing the password, the designated security administrator can create User IDs for anyone within your company. The designated security administrator will also be able to assign certain electronic filing rights to User IDs and perform account maintenance as needed

The documentation needed will vary depending on what changes are being made to the T-4 Pipeline Permit. You can find a reference guide to determine the required documents for your T-4 Pipeline Permit by reviewing the Pipeline Permitting Guidance for Required T-4 Documentation Sheet.

There are two separate fees related to T-4 Pipeline Permits: the Annual Mileage Fee and the Pipeline Renewal Fee. The Annual Mileage Fee is due April 1st, and the Pipeline Renewal Fee is due at your company’s renewal month. Refer to the Pipeline Fees on the Commission’s website for more information

You need to file a Divesting Transfer and select Full when prompted in POPS. You must provide a cover letter explaining the transfer and a completed Pipeline Transfer Certification (T-4B) signed by both the divesting and acquiring parties. Although not required, an overview map should be attached to help confirm the transfer. Do not attach a shapefile, as the existing mapping will be transferred to the Acquiring Operator once the Divesting Operator submits the divesting transfer. Please refer to POPS User Guide for more details about Transfer Filings

You need to file a Divesting Transfer and select Partial when prompted in POPS. You must provide a cover letter explaining the transfer and a completed Pipeline Transfer Certification (T-4B) signed by both the divesting and acquiring parties. An overview map and shapefile showing the entire system, including the pipeline to be transferred to an Acquiring Operator, are required to complete the transfer. Please refer to POPS User Guide for more details about Transfer Filings.

You need to amend the T-4 Pipeline Permit in POPS. Be sure to enter the transfer information in POPS before you proceed to attach a cover letter explaining the transfer, and a signed and completed Pipeline Transfer Certification (T-4B). Although not required, an overview map should be attached to confirm the transfer. Do not attach a shapefile as the existing mapping is already transferred from the Divesting Operator after they complete their transfer in POPS. Please refer to POPS User Guide for more details about Transfer Filings.

You need to amend the T-4 Pipeline Permit in POPS. Be sure to enter the transfer information in POPS before you proceed to attach a cover letter explaining the transfer and a signed and completed Pipeline Transfer Certification (T-4B). An overview map and shapefile showing the entire pipeline system, including the transferred pipeline(s), are required to complete the transfer. Please refer to POPS User Guide for more details about Transfer Filings.

Yes, you may. Please consider several factors that determine when you cannot consolidate your T-4 Pipeline Permits:

 

  1. You cannot combine gas and any liquid T-4 Pipeline Permits because all Gas T-4 Pipeline Permits are reviewed by the Gas Services Department at the Commission and are defined in Title 49 CFR Part 191/192, while all liquid T-4 Pipeline Permits are not reviewed by the Gas Services Department and are defined in Title 49 CFR Part
  2. You cannot consolidate T-4 Pipeline Permits that have both Private Pipeline and any Common Carrier (liquid) or Gas Utility (gas) Pipelines because Common Carrier and Gas Utilities operate under a different business model than private companies. Private companies cannot use condemnation and are not obligated to transport for others. Operators of Common Carrier and Gas Utility Pipelines can use condemnation if they choose, but they must file a tariff and allow others to use their lines for a fee.
  3. You cannot consolidate T-4 Pipeline Permits that are under different Economic Operators because each Economic Operator must be evaluated independently for their Common Carrier and Gas Utility status.
  4. You cannot consolidate T-4 Pipeline Permits if the Pipeline Owner is different from the Pipeline Operator.
  5. You cannot consolidate Interstate and Intrastate T-4 Pipeline Permits because Interstate Pipelines are under the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration’s (PHMSA) jurisdiction. Intrastate pipelines fall under the Railroad Commission’s jurisdiction.

No, a shapefile is not always required. Please refer to Pipeline Permitting Guidance for Required T-4 Documentation Sheet for more information on what is required for each submission in POPS and refer to A Guide to Shapefile Submissions for shapefile requirements.

You may send an email to tpms@rrc.texas.gov requesting your shapefile. Be sure to include your T-4 Pipeline Permit number(s) in the email.

Yes. However, before you attach a shapefile in POPS, you need to make some changes. Please refer to A Guide to Shapefile Submissions for guidance on all of these steps:

  1. Make sure your shapefile contains all the required fields as listed in A Guide to Shapefile Submissions because a shapefile sent from the Commission does not contain all of the required fields. If you see any attribute fields listed in the guide that need to be added, then do so prior to POPS submission. If you see any attribute fields that are not listed in the guide, then you may delete those attribute fields prior to POPS submission.
  2. Make sure you re-project the shapefile. Shapefiles sent from the Commission use Texas Statewide Mapping System. However, shapefile attachments in POPS need to use NAD 1927 or 1983. Refer to A Guide to Shapefile Submissions for guidance on projection requirements.

 

You may hire a mapper from our Vendor List to prepare the shapefile for you. Additionally, if you want to use GIS on your own but you don’t have a paid license, you can use QGIS, a free open-source GIS Software application. It is available for download at: Download QGIS.

Review the Rejection Notice attached in your registered email for an explanation of the rejection. If additional information is needed, please contact the Pipeline Permitting Section by phone at 512-463-6802, or by email at pops@rrc.texas.gov.

The mileage is calculated directly from the geometry in your shapefile using the Projected Coordinate System (PCS) Texas Statewide Mapping System. We accept only minor discrepancies between the cover letter and the shapefile mileage. The mileage on T-4A is what will be used to calculate your Annual Mileage Fee.

After an application for a T-4 Pipeline Permit is submitted in POPS, the Commission has 30 calendar days to issue, amend or deny the T-4 Pipeline Permit as defined in Rule 16 TAC §3.70(d).



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