Welcome to the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM), where we oversee the regulation of pipelines through two distinct programs. Our jurisdiction includes intrastate hazardous liquid pipelines, thanks to regulatory authority granted by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) under 49 CFR Part 195. Additionally, the California Legislature has empowered us to regulate intrastate hazardous liquid pipelines within the state through the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act.

While most jurisdictional pipelines fall under regulations from both programs, each pipeline is unique and may be subject to regulation under one program while exempt from the other. Consequently, some pipelines may be exempt from specific inspection requirements. To determine the appropriate regulatory framework, pipeline operators can follow the outlined procedures to request a jurisdictional determination from our division.

Why Evaluate the Regulatory Authority?

Understanding the regulatory authority applicable to your pipeline is crucial for compliance. While federal and state programs share similarities, they have distinct inspection requirements. For example, our state regulations encompass more stringent criteria such as the Coastal Best Available Technology and Annual Inspection requirements.

Definition of Federally and State Regulated Pipelines:

To provide clarity on the scope of regulation, it is essential to understand how federally and state regulated pipelines are defined. The regulatory framework for federally regulated pipelines is outlined in 49 CFR Part 195.1, which establishes the criteria and guidelines for pipelines falling under federal jurisdiction. On the other hand, state regulated pipelines are governed by the California Pipeline Safety Act (CAPSA) 51010.5, which specifically addresses the requirements and standards for intrastate pipelines within California.


Step 1: Requesting a Jurisdictional Evaluation

To begin the jurisdictional evaluation process, pipeline operators must submit a request to the Assistant Deputy Director of our Pipeline Safety Division. Simply send an email to pipelinenotification@fire.ca.gov, clearly stating the purpose of evaluating the jurisdictional status of your specific pipeline and specifying the relevant code section for review. Additionally, please provide the following information about your pipeline:

  • OSFM pipeline identification number (e.g., PLID #0000)
  • Relevant code section (e.g., 195.1(b)(4))
  • Supporting documents

Step 2: Field Inspections and Records Review

Once we receive your jurisdictional evaluation request, our team may conduct field inspections to verify the accuracy and validity of the supporting documents and information provided. These inspections ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements applicable to your pipeline.

Step 3: Confirmation of Jurisdictional Determination

After completing the evaluation process, if your request is approved, we will issue a formal letter confirming the jurisdictional determination of your pipeline. This letter serves as an official acknowledgment of your pipeline's regulatory status, providing clarity on the applicable program and associated regulations.

We are committed to maintaining pipeline safety and promoting regulatory compliance. By following these steps and requesting a jurisdictional evaluation, pipeline operators can ensure they adhere to the appropriate regulatory framework.