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PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION

 

DIVISION 24

SAFETY STANDARDS

General

860-024-0000

Applicability of Division 24

(1) Unless otherwise noted, the rules in this Division apply to every operator, as defined in OAR 860-024-0001.

(2) Upon request or its own motion, the Commission may waive any of the Division 024 rules for good cause shown. A request for waiver must be made in writing, unless otherwise allowed by the Commission.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, 756, 757 & 759
Stats. Implemented: ORS 756.040, 757.035, 757.039, 757.649, 759.030, 759.040 & 759.045
Hist.: PUC 6-1993, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-93 (Order No. 93-185); PUC 14-1997, f. & cert. ef. 11-20-97; PUC 3-1999, f. & cert. ef. 8-10-99; PUC 14-2000, f. & cert. ef. 8-23-00; PUC 23-2001, f. & cert. ef. 10-11-01; PUC 6-2011, f. & cert. ef. 9-14-11

860-024-0001

Definitions for Safety Standards

For purposes of this Division, except when a different scope is explicitly stated:

(1) "Commission Safety Rules," as used in this section, mean the National Electric Safety Code (NESC), as modified or supplemented by the rules in OAR chapter 860, division 024.

(2) "Facility" means any of the following lines or pipelines including associated plant, systems, supporting and containing structures, equipment, apparatus, or appurtenances:

(a) A gas pipeline subject to ORS 757.039;

(b) A power line or electric supply line subject to ORS 757.035; or

(c) A telegraph, telephone, signal, or communication line subject to ORS 757.035.

(3) "Government entity" means a city, a county, a municipality, the state, or other political subdivision within Oregon.

(4) "Material violation" means a violation that:

(a) Is reasonably expected to endanger life or property; or

(b) Poses a significant safety risk to any operator's employees or a potential risk to the general public.

(5) "Operator" means every person as defined in ORS 756.010, public utility as defined in 757.005, electricity service supplier as defined in OAR 860-038-0005, telecommunications utility as defined in ORS 759.005, telecommunications carrier as defined in 759.400, telecommunications provider as defined in OAR 860-032-0001, consumer-owned utility as defined in ORS 757.270, cable operator as defined in 30.192, association, cooperative, or government entity and their agents, lessees, or acting trustees or receivers, appointed by court, engaged in the management, operation, ownership, or control of any facility within Oregon.

(6) "Pattern of non-compliance" means a course of behavior that results in frequent, material violations of the Commission Safety Rules.

(7) "Reporting operator" means an operator that:

(a) Serves 20 customers or more within Oregon; or

(b) Is an electricity service supplier as defined in OAR 860-038-0005 and serves more than one retail electricity customer.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, 756, 757 & 759
Stats. Implemented: ORS 756.040, 757.035, 757.039, 757.649, 758.215, 759.005 & 759.045
Hist.: PUC 2-1996, f. & cert. ef. 4-18-96 (Order No. 96-102); PUC 9-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-28-98; PUC 23-2001, f. & cert. ef. 10-11-01; PUC 9-2006, f. & cert. ef. 9-28-06

860-024-0005

Maps and Records

(1) Each utility shall keep on file current maps and records of the entire plant showing size, location, character, and date of installation of major plant items.

(2) Upon request, each utility shall file with the Commission an adequate description or maps to define the territory served. All maps and records which the Commission may require the utility to file shall be in a form satisfactory to the Commission.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, ORS 756 & ORS 757
Stats. Implemented: ORS 756.040 & ORS 757.020
Hist.: PUC 164, f. 4-18-74, ef. 5-11-74 (Order No. 74-307); PUC 9-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-28-98

860-024-0007

Location of Underground Facilities

An operator and its customers shall comply with requirements of OAR chapter 952 regarding the prevention of damage to underground facilities.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, ORS 756, ORS 757 & ORS 759
Stats. Implemented: ORS 757.542 – ORS 757.562, ORS 757.649 & ORS 759.045
Hist.: PUC 5-1988, f. & cert. ef. 3-8-88 (Order No. 88-244); PUC 9-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-28-98; PUC 12-1999, f. & cert. ef. 11-18-99; PUC 23-2001, f. & cert. ef. 10-11-01

Electric and Communication

860-024-0010

Construction, Operation, and Maintenance of Electrical Supply and Communication Lines

Every operator shall construct, operate, and maintain electrical supply and communication lines in compliance with the standards prescribed by the 2012 Edition of the National Electrical Safety Code approved June 3, 2011, by the American National Standards Institute.

[Publications: Publications referenced are available for review from the Commision.]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, 756, 757 & 759
Stats. Implemented: ORS 757.035
Hist.: PUC 164, f. 4-18-74, ef. 5-11-74 (Order No. 74-307); PUC 173, f. & ef. 1-14-76 (Order No. 76-037); PUC 1-1978, f. 1-13-78, ef. 2-13-78 (Order No. 78-076); PUC 3-1981, f. & ef. 6-4-81 (Order No. 81-361); PUC 12-1984, f. & ef. 6-5-84 (Order No. 84-424); PUC 11-1987, f. & ef. 10-8-87 (Order No. 87-861); PUC 6-1990, f. & cert. ef. 5-25-90 (Order No. 90-833); PUC 11-1993, f. & cert. ef. 6-23-93 (Order No. 93-809; PUC 13-1994, f. & cert. ef. 8-31-94 (Order No. 94-1243); PUC 7-1997, f. & cert. ef. 2-6-97; PUC 9-2002, f. & cert. ef. 2-26-02; PUC 6-2007, f. & cert .ef. 5-14-07; PUC 5-2008, f. & cert. ef. 12-29-08; PUC 2-2012, f. & cert. ef. 3-9-12

860-024-0011

Inspections of Electric Supply and Communication Facilities

(1) An operator of electric supply facilities or an operator of communication facilities must:

(a) Construct, operate, and maintain its facilities in compliance with the Commission Safety Rules; and

(b) Conduct detailed inspections of its overhead facilities to identify violations of the Commission Safety Rules.

(A) The maximum interval between detailed inspections is ten years, with a recommended inspection rate of ten percent of overhead facilities per year. During the fifth year of the inspection cycle, the operator must:

(i) Report to the Commission that 50 percent or more of its total facilities have been inspected pursuant to this rule; or

(ii) Report to the Commission that less than 50 percent of its total facilities have been inspected pursuant to this rule and provide a plan for Commission approval to inspect the remaining percentage within the next five years. The Commission may modify the plan or impose conditions to ensure sufficient inspection for safety purposes.

(B) Detailed inspections include, but are not limited to, visual checks or practical tests of all facilities, to the extent required to identify violations of Commission Safety Rules. Where facilities are exposed to extraordinary conditions or when an operator has demonstrated a pattern of non-compliance with Commission Safety Rules, the Commission may require a shorter interval between inspections.

(c) Conduct detailed facility inspections of its underground facilities on a ten-year maximum cycle, with a recommended inspection rate of 10 percent of underground facilities per year.

(d) Maintain adequate written records of policies, plans and schedules to show that inspections and corrections are being carried out in compliance with this rule and OAR 860-024-0012. Each operator must make these records available to the Commission upon its request.

(2) Each operator of electric supply facilities must:

(a) Designate an annual geographic area to be inspected pursuant to subsection (1)(b) of this rule within its service territory;

(b) Provide timely notice of the designation of the annual geographic area to all owners and occupants. The annual coverage areas for the entire program must be made available in advance and in sufficient detail to allow all operators with facilities in that service territory to plan needed inspection and correction tasks. Unless the parties otherwise agree, operators must be notified of any changes to the established annual geographic area designation no later than 12 months before the start of the next year's inspection; and

(c) Perform routine safety patrols of overhead electric supply lines and accessible facilities for hazards to the public. The maximum interval between safety patrols is two years, with a recommended rate of 50 percent of lines and facilities per year.

(d) Inspect electric supply stations on a 45 day maximum schedule.

(3) Effective Dates

(a) Subsection (2)(a) of this rule is effective January 1, 2007;

(b) Subsection (1)(b) of this rule is effective January 1, 2008.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, 756, 757 & 759
Stats. Implemented: ORS 757.035
Hist.: PUC 9-2006, f. & cert. ef. 9-28-06

860-024-0012

Prioritization of Repairs by Operators of Electric Supply Facilities and Operators of Communication Facilities

(1) A violation of the Commission Safety Rules that poses an imminent danger to life or property must be repaired, disconnected, or isolated by the operator immediately after discovery.

(2) Except as otherwise provided by this rule, the operator must correct violations of Commission Safety Rules no later than two years after discovery.

(3) An operator may elect to defer correction of violations of the Commission Safety Rules that pose little or no foreseeable risk of danger to life or property to correction during the next major work activity.

(a) In no event shall a deferral under this section extend for more than ten years after discovery.

(b) The operator must develop a plan detailing how it will remedy each such violation.

(c) If more than one operator is affected by the deferral, all affected operators must agree to the plan. If any affected operators do not agree to the plan, the correction of violation(s) may not be deferred.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, 756, 757 & 759
Stats. Implemented: ORS 757.035
Hist.: PUC 9-2006, f. & cert. ef. 9-28-06; PUC 6-2011, f. & cert. ef. 9-14-11

860-024-0015

Ground Return

Every operator with either alternating or direct current power lines or equipment within Oregon may use a connection to ground only for protection purposes. A ground connection shall not be used for the purpose of providing a return conductor for power purposes.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, 756, 757 & 759
Stats. Implemented: ORS 757.035, 757.649 & 759.045
Hist.: PUC 164, f. 4-18-74, ef. 5-11-74 (Order No. 74-307); PUC 9-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-28-98; PUC 23-2001, f. & cert. ef. 10-11-01

860-024-0016

Minimum Vegetation Clearance Requirements

(1) For purposes of this rule:

(a) "Readily climbable" means vegetation having both of the following characteristics:

(A) Low limbs, accessible from the ground and sufficiently close together so that the vegetation can be climbed by a child or average person without using a ladder or other special equipment; and

(B) A main stem or major branch that would support a child or average person either within arms' reach of an uninsulated energized electric line or within such proximity to the electric line that the climber could be injured by direct or indirect contact with the line.

(b) "Vegetation" means trees, shrubs, and any other woody plants.

(c) "Volts" means nominal voltage levels, measured phase-to-phase.

(2) The requirements in this rule provide the minimum standards for conductor clearances from vegetation to provide safety for the public and utility workers, reasonable service continuity, and fire prevention. Each operator of electric supply facilities must have a vegetation management program and keep appropriate records to ensure that timely trimming is accomplished to keep the designated minimum clearances. These records must be made available to the Commission upon request.

(3) Each operator of electric supply facilities must trim or remove vegetation to maintain clearances from electric supply conductors.

(4) Each operator of electric supply facilities must trim or remove readily climbable vegetation as specified in section (5) of this rule to minimize the likelihood of direct or indirect access to a high voltage conductor by a member of the public or any unauthorized person.

(5) Under reasonably anticipated operational conditions, an operator of electric supply facilities must maintain the following minimum clearances of vegetation from conductors:

(a) Ten feet for conductors energized above 200,000 volts.

(b) Seven and one-half feet for conductors energized at 50,001 through 200,000 volts.

(c) Five feet for conductors energized at 600 through 50,000 volts.

(A) Clearances may be reduced to three feet if the vegetation is not readily climbable.

(B) Intrusion of limited small branches and new tree growth into this minimum clearance area is acceptable provided the vegetation does not come closer than six inches to the conductor.

(6) For conductors energized below 600 volts, an operator of electric supply facilities must trim vegetation to prevent it from causing strain or abrasion on electric conductors. Where trimming or removal of vegetation is not practical, the operator of electric supply facilities must install suitable material or devices to avoid insulation damage by abrasion.

(7) In determining the extent of trimming required to maintain the clearances required in section (5) of this rule, the operator of electric supply facilities must consider at minimum the following factors for each conductor:

(a) Voltage;

(b) Location;

(c) Configuration;

(d) Sag of conductors at elevated temperatures and under wind and ice loading; and

(e) Growth habit, strength, and health of vegetation growing adjacent to the conductor, with the combined displacement of the vegetation, supporting structures, and conductors under adverse weather or routine wind conditions.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, 756, 757 & 758
Stats. Implemented: ORS 757.035 & 758.280 - 758.286
Hist.: PUC 9-2006, f. & cert. ef. 9-28-06; PUC 5-2007, f. & cert .ef. 5-14-07

860-024-0017

Vegetation Pruning Standards

An operator that is an electric utility as defined in ORS 758.505 shall perform tree and vegetation work associated with line clearance in compliance with the American National Standard for Tree Care Operations, ANSI A300 (Part 1)-2001 Pruning, approved May 22, 2001, by the American National Standards Institute.

[Publications: Publications referenced are available from the Commision.]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 756, ORS 757 & ORS 758
Stats. Implemented: HB 2493 & ORS 757.035
Hist.: PUC 16-2002, f. & cert. ef. 6-14-02

Gas

860-024-0020

Gas Pipeline Safety

Every gas operator must construct, operate, and maintain natural gas and other gas facilities in compliance with the standards prescribed by:

(1) 49 CFR, Part 191, and amendments through No. 22 — Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline; Annual Reports and Incident Reports in effect on April 4, 2011.

(2) 49 CFR, Part 192, and amendments through No. 117 — Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline; Minimum Safety Standards in effect on August 15, 2011.

(3) 49 CFR, Part 199, and amendments through No. 25 — Control of Drug and Alcohol Use in Natural Gas, Liquefied Natural Gas, and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Operations in effect on February 17, 2009.

(4) 49 CFR, Part 40, and amendments through No. 29 – Procedure for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs in effect on October 3, 2012.

[Publications: Publications referenced are available from the agency.]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, 756 & 757
Stats. Implemented: ORS 757.039
Hist.: PUC 164, f. 4-18-74, ef. 5-11-74 (Order No. 74-307); PUC 172, f. & ef. 1-14-76 (Order No. 76-036); PUC 180, f. 4-8-77, ef. 5-1-77 (Order No. 77-232); PUC 2-1978, f. & ef. 3-16-78 (Order No. 78-158); PUC 6-1980, f. & ef. 10-22-80 (Order No. 80-777); PUC 3-1981, f. & ef. 6-4-81 (Order No. 81-361); PUC 12-1984, f. & ef. 6-5-84 (Order No. 84-424); PUC 18-1984, f. & ef. 9-4-84 (Order No. 84-685); PUC 4-1986, f. & ef. 5-5-86 (Order No. 86-456); PUC 11-1987, f. & ef. 10-8-87 (Order No. 87-861); PUC 16-1989, f. & cert. ef. 11-22-89 (Order No. 89-1529); PUC 8-1992, f. & cert. ef. 5-13-92 (Order No. 92-618 & 92-677); PUC 14-1994, f. & cert. ef. 10-20-94 (Order No. 94-1533); PUC 9-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-28-98; PUC 19-1998, f. & cert. ef. 11-18-98; PUC 22-2003, f. & cert. ef. 11-28-03; PUC 3-2005, f. & cert. ef. 6-3-05; PUC 9-2007, f. & cert. ef. 9-10-07; PUC 5-2009, f. & cert. ef. 5-5-09; PUC 2-2011, f. & cert. ef. 5-4-11; PUC 4-2013, f. & cert. ef. 5-30-13

860-024-0021

Liquefied Natural Gas Safety

Every gas operator must construct, operate, and maintain liquefied natural gas facilities in compliance with the standards prescribed by:

(1) 49 CFR, Part 191, and amendments through No. 22 — Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline; Annual Reports and Incident Reports in effect on April 4, 2011.

(2) 49 CFR, Part 193, and amendments through No. 23 — Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities; Minimum Safety Standards in effect on November 26, 2010.

(3) 49 CFR, Part 199, and amendments through No. 25 — Control of Drug and Alcohol Use in Natural Gas, Liquefied Natural Gas, and Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Operations in effect on February 17, 2009.

(4) 49 CFR, Part 40, and amendments through No. 29 – Procedure for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs in effect on October 3, 2012.

[Publications: Publications referenced are available from the agency.]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, 756 & 757
Stats. Implemented: ORS 757.039
Hist.: PUC 3-1981, f. & ef. 6-4-81 (Order No. 81-361); PUC 12-1984, f. & ef. 6-5-84 (Order No. 84-424); PUC 4-1986, f. & ef. 5-5-86 (Order No. 86-456); PUC 11-1987, f. & ef. 10-8-87 (Order No. 87-861); PUC 16-1989, f. & cert. ef. 11-22-89 (Order No. 89-1529); PUC 8-1992, f. & cert. ef. 5-13-92 (Order No. 92-618 & 92-677); PUC 14-1994, f. & cert. ef. 10-20-94 (Order No. 94-1533); PUC 9-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-28-98; PUC 19-1998, f. & cert. ef. 11-18-98; PUC 22-2003, f. & cert. ef. 11-28-03; PUC 3-2005, f. & cert. ef. 6-3-05; PUC 9-2007, f. & cert. ef. 9-10-07; PUC 5-2009, f. & cert. ef. 5-5-09; PUC 2-2011, f. & cert. ef. 5-4-11; PUC 4-2013, f. & cert. ef. 5-30-13

Steam and Hot Water

860-024-0025

Steam Heat -- Construction, Operation, and Maintenance of Steam and Hot Water Transmission and Distribution Systems

A steam heat public utility shall construct, operate, and maintain steam and hot water transmission and distribution systems in accordance with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Code for Pressure Piping, Section B31.1, 1989 Edition, an American National Standard.

[Publications: Publications referenced are available from the agency.]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183 & ORS 756
Stats. Implemented: ORS 756.040
Hist.: PUC 164, f. 4-18-74, ef. 5-11-74 (Order No. 74-307); PUC 10-1991, f. & cert. ef. 12-5-91 (Order No. 91-1603); PUC 9-1998, f. & cert. ef. 4-28-98; PUC 23-2001, f. & cert. ef. 10-11-01

860-024-0050

Incident Reports

(1) As used in this rule:

(a) "Serious injury to person" means, in the case of an employee, an injury which results in hospitalization. In the case of a non-employee, "serious injury" means any contact with an energized high-voltage line, or any incident which results in hospitalization. Treatment in an emergency room is not hospitalization.

(b) "Serious injury to property" means:

(A) Damage to operator and non-operator property exceeding $100,000; or

(B) In the case of a gas operator, damage to property exceeding $5,000; or

(C) In the case of an electricity service supplier (ESS) as defined in OAR 860-038-0005, damage to ESS and non-ESS property exceeding $100,000 or failure of ESS facilities that causes or contributes to a loss of energy to consumers; or

(D) Damage to property which causes a loss of service to over 500 customers (50 customers in the case of a gas operator) for over two hours (five hours for an electric operator serving less than 15,000 customers) except for electric service loss that is restricted to a single feeder line and results in an outage of less than four hours.

(2) Except as provided in section (5) of this rule, every reporting operator must give immediate notice by telephone, by facsimile, by electronic mail, or personally to the Commission, of incidents attended by loss of life or limb, or serious injury to person or property, occurring in Oregon upon the premises of or directly or indirectly arising from or connected with the maintenance or operation of a facility.

(3) Except as provided in section (5) of this rule, every reporting operator must, in addition to the notice given in section (2) of this rule for an incident described in section (2), report in writing to the Commission within 20 days of the occurrence. In the case of injuries to employees, a copy of the incident report form that is submitted to Oregon OSHA, Department of Consumer and Business Services, for reporting incident injuries, will normally suffice for a written report. In the case of a gas operator, copies of incident or leak reports submitted under 49 CFR Part 191 will normally suffice.

(4) An incident report filed by a public or telecommunications utility in accordance with ORS 654.715 cannot be used as evidence in any action for damages in any suit or action arising out of any matter mentioned in the report.

(5) A Peoples Utility District (PUD) is exempt from this rule if the PUD agrees, by signing an agreement, to comply voluntarily with the filing requirements set forth in sections (2) and (3).

(6) Gas operators have additional incident and condition reporting requirements set forth in OARs 860-024-0020 and 860-024-0021.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, 654, 756, 757 & 759
Stats. Implemented: ORS 654.715, 756.040, 756.105, 757.035, 757.039, 757.649, 759.036, 759.040 &759.045
Hist.: PUC 164, f. 4-18-74, ef. 5-11-74 (Order No. 74-307); PUC 3-1981, f. & ef. 6-4-81 (Order No. 81-361); PUC 21-1985, f. & ef. 11-25-85 (Order No. 85-1130); PUC 12-1989, f. & cert. ef. 8-11-89 (Order No. 89-946); PUC 4-1992, f. & ef. 2-14-92 (Order No. 92-234); PUC 6-1993, f. & cert. ef. 2-19-93 (Order No. 93-185); PUC 1-1998, f. & ef. 1-12-98 (Order No. 98-016); PUC 12-1998, f. & cert. ef. 5-7-98; PUC 3-1999, f. & ef. 8-10-99 (Order No. 99-468); PUC 23-2001, f. & cert. ef. 10-11-01, Renumbered from 860-028-0005 & 860-034-0570; PUC 9-2006, f. & cert. ef. 9-28-06

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