Introduction

The May 2015 pipeline incident at Refugio Beach in Santa Barbara County spilled over 100,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean and impacted over 25 miles of coastline. The impacts from the spill were devastating, both environmentally and economically. To prevent similar incidents from occurring on intrastate hazardous liquid pipelines, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law pipeline safety bill AB 864 later that year.

AB 864 enacted Government Code Section (GC) 51013.1 which required that any new or replacement pipeline near environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas (EESA) in the coastal zone to use best available technologies to reduce the amount of oil released in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife. Additionally, it required that an operator of an existing pipeline near these sensitive areas submit a plan to retrofit the pipeline to the OSFM. This regulation has been adopted by the Office of the State Fire Marshal and became effective on 10/1/2020.

On October 8, 2015, the State of California issued the Assembly Bill 864 Oil Spill Response: Environmentally and Ecologically Sensitive Coastal Areas (CBAT regulation). This regulation, which requires the pipelines in environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas (EESA) of the coastal zone to use the best available technology to reduce the amount of petroleum product released in an oil spill.

Key Milestones:

The process and requirements for the CBAT regulations are codified in Title 19. Division 1, Chapter 14, Article 7 of the California Code of Regulations (19 CCR 2100-2120). The risk analysis submitted for CBAT regulation is expected to follow 19 CCR  2111.

The deadlines for each milestone are summarized as follow:

Effective date of the regulation

October 1, 2020

Optional Form PSD-2102

Submit as needed

Section 2103 Exemption

May 1, 2021  

Section 2104 Deferral

May 1, 2021   

Implementation plan and risk analysis

October 1, 2021

A detailed supplemental implementation plan is due 60 days after the acceptance of risk analysis.

Operators to complete retrofit of existing pipeline

April 1, 2023

Procedures - Overview

This regulation is implemented in a three-step process:

Step 1: Identify Pipelines Subject to Section 2102

Section 2102 specifies that “it is the responsibility of an operator to identify pipeline(s) that are subject to the requirements of this Article.” The word “pipeline” is defined in GC 51010.5.

Upon request, the OSFM will provide a list of regulated pipelines to each operator. Using this list, the operator may submit to OSFM a list of the pipeline(s) they believe to be subject to CBAT regulations as well as a list of pipelines that the operator believes are not subject to the CBAT regulations. Submission of this list is not required but will ensure that an operator has identified all pipelines subject to CBAT requirements.

Form 2102 provides general guidelines that an operator may use to submit the necessary information to satisfy Section 2102. Using Form 2102 is optional; operators may submit a list of CBAT regulated pipelines and a list of CBAT unregulated pipelines in another format.

All submissions shall be sent to the Pipeline Notification email account (pipelinenotification@fire.ca.gov) with the subject line starting with [CBAT] Title. As an example, the subject line may be “[CBAT] Form 2102 from Fire Pipeline Company”.

The OSFM will acknowledge the receipt of CBAT regulated and unregulated pipelines with the operator.

Step 2: Classify Each CBAT Regulated Pipeline into One of Five Categories

By the end of step 1, the operator and the OSFM will have confirmed the final list of CBAT regulated pipelines. An operator shall classify each CBAT regulated pipeline into one of five categories.

Group 1: Section 2103 Pipeline (Exemption for Pipelines Located Outside the Coastal Zone)

Section 2103 allows pipelines to be exempted from CBAT regulations if a spill would not impact the coastal zone portion of an EESA. For example, consider a pipeline that is located more than 50 miles away from the coastal zone but there is a dry drainage channel connecting the location of this pipeline to the coastal zone. A pipeline may be considered exempt under Section 2103 if the operator is able to show in their spill analysis document that a worst-case spill would have no impact on the coastal zone portion of EESA. This is despite the proximity of this dry drainage channel to the CBAT regulated pipeline.

Form PSD-2103 provides general guidelines an operator may use to submit the necessary information to satisfy Section 2103. Using the form PSD-2103 is optional; an operator may submit the necessary information in another format.

Group 2: Section 2104 Pipeline (Deferral for Pipelines with Existing Best Available Technology)

Through the submission of risk analysis, Under Section 2103, an operator may be able to request a “deferral” from the OSFM by proving that their existing pipeline is currently equipped with the best available technology. An operator must show that installed technology meets CBAT requirements through the submission of a risk analysis. Form PSD-2104 provides general guidelines an operator may use to submit the necessary information to satisfy Section 2104. Using the form PSD-2104 is optional, an operator may submit the required information in another format.

Group 3: Section 2104.OOS Pipeline (Deferral for out-of-service pipelines)

Similar to pipelines in Group 2, an operator may request deferral of CBAT regulations for out-of-service (OOS) pipelines that can be shown to have had best available spill prevention technology installed. An out-of-service pipeline may have no hazardous liquid in the pipeline. An operator may submit form PSD-2014.OOS or in another format to defer the implementation of the CBAT. Using the form PSD-2104.OOS is optional, an operator may submit the required information in another format.

Group 4: Section 2113 Pipeline (Retrofit with Best Available Technology)

Section 2113 applies to pipelines that do not currently have best available technology installed. An operator shall analyze the risk from its pipelines, identify  best available technology in their risk analysis, develop an implementation plan, and submit these documents to the OSFM for review.

Using the form PSD-2113 is optional, an operator may submit the required information in another format.

Group 5: Section 2113.OOS Pipeline (Retrofit with Best Available Technology)

An OOS or abandoning pipeline that does not transport products could still have products in the line. An operator must submit supporting documents to show that a pipeline is purged or they will need to submit an implementation plan (e.g. field verification plan, abandonment plan, etc.) to verify that there is no product in the pipeline.

Preliminary implementation plans and risk analyses are due on October 1, 2021.Using the form PSD-2113.OOS is optional, an operator may submit the required information in another format.

Step 3: Approval

Within 60 days of acceptance of risk analysis, a detailed supplemental implementation plan shall be submitted to the OSFM. Upon approval, the operator is expected to complete the retrofit of pipelines by April 1, 2023. The OSFM will notify the operator within 90 days if a risk analysis has been accepted or denied. 

To monitor a pipeline operator's implementation plan, the OSFM has established two critical teams – the Construction Team and the Change of Status Team.

Construction Team: After the OSFM approves the implementation plans for Section 2113 pipelines, the Construction Team will receive the preliminary implementation plan, the risk analysis, and the detailed supplemental implementation plan. The Construction Team will coordinate with the operator and monitor the retrofit of pipelines. The retrofit of existing pipelines must be completed no later than April 1, 2023.

Change of Status Team: If the OSFM approves the implementation plan for Section 2113.OOS pipelines, the Change of Status Team will monitor and review the purging of the pipelines. The purging of OOS or abandoning of pipelines subject to CBAT regulation shall be completed no later than April 1, 2023.