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Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Subject 391-3-23 PETROLEUM PIPELINE EMINENT DOMAIN PERMIT PROCEDURES

Rule 391-3-23-.01 Purpose

The following rule serves to protect Georgia's natural and environmental resources by requiring permits be issued by the Director with monitoring conditions prior to any construction of a new petroleum pipeline or an extension to an existing petroleum pipeline.

Rule 391-3-23-.02 Definitions

(1) `Corridor of Public Utilities' means right of way for electric, telephone, and cable facilities and pipelines such as natural gas, liquid product, sewer and water.
(2) `Director' means the Director of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
(3) `Division' means the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
(4) 'Existing petroleum pipeline' means a petroleum pipeline constructed and in use prior to January 1, 2016.
(5) 'Expansion' means a modification to an existing petroleum pipeline within the existing easement or right of way that increases the supply of petroleum by:
(a) Increasing the diameter of an existing petroleum pipeline; or
(b) Constructing a parallel petroleum pipeline.
(6) 'Extension' means a modification to an existing petroleum pipeline that increases the length or footprint of the existing petroleum pipeline by a distance greater than one linear mile.
(7) 'Maintenance' means:
(a) The care or upkeep of an existing petroleum pipeline and its appurtenances;
(b) The replacement of an existing petroleum pipeline within the same easement or right of way; or
(c) The relocation of an existing petroleum pipeline for repair within one linear mile of the existing petroleum pipeline's alignment.
(8) 'New petroleum pipeline' means a petroleum pipeline that was not constructed and in use prior to January 1, 2016. The term 'new petroleum pipeline' shall not include an expansion, an extension, or any maintenance.
(9) 'Parallel petroleum pipeline' means a petroleum pipeline that runs side by side to an existing petroleum pipeline.
(10) `Petroleum Product' means any mixture of naturally occurring or artificially produced refined hydrocarbons that are liquid at atmospheric temperatures and pressures.
(11) 'Petroleum pipeline' means a fixed conduit constructed to transport petroleum or petroleum products in or through this state.
(12) `Petroleum Pipeline Company' means a corporation, partnership, or other business entity organized under the laws of this state or which is organized under the laws of another state and is authorized to do business in this state and which is specifically authorized by its charter or articles of incorporation to construct and operate pipelines for the transportation of petroleum or petroleum products.
(13) `Pipeline Facility' or `Pipeline Facilities' means and includes the pipeline and all equipment or facilities, including lateral lines, essential to the operation of the pipeline but shall not include any storage tank or storage facility which is not being constructed as a part of the operation of the pipeline.
(14) `Professional Engineer' means a person registered to practice engineering in the State of Georgia in accordance with Chapter 15 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
(15) `Professional Geologist' means a person registered to practice geology in the State of Georgia in accordance with Chapter 19 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.

Rule 391-3-23-.03 Permit Application

(1) On or after July 1, 2017, any construction of a new petroleum pipeline or an extension in this state shall require a permit from the Director as provided in this chapter. No construction activity on any portion of a new petroleum pipeline or any extension shall occur unless and until such permit is obtained. Such permit shall be required without regard to whether the petroleum pipeline company intends to exercise any power of eminent domain pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 3 of Title 22 and shall be in addition to any other permits or authorization required under this title or any other provision of state or federal law.
(2) Any application to the division for a permit under this chapter shall contain, at a minimum, the following:
(a) A non-refundable permit application fee of $5000.00.
(b) A description of the proposed project, including its route sufficiently adequate to permit the location of the subject parcel on a United States Geological Survey 1:24,000 topographic quadrangle map;
(c) Copies of any relevant background data on engineering or environmental studies in the possession of or used by the pipeline company to select or develop the proposed pipeline route and/or prepare the permit application.
(d) Information on other corridors of public utilities.
(e) Information on the existence of any local zoning ordinances or land use restrictions and whether or not the pipeline company is in compliance with local zoning ordinances or land use restrictions.
(f) Evidence of financial responsibility by the petroleum pipeline company as described in the most current version of the Division's Petroleum Pipeline Permit Guidelines;
(g) Description of proposed construction activities
(h) A proposal, where appropriate, for monitoring the effects of the petroleum pipeline during construction on the surrounding environment and natural resources, including but not limited to wetland dewatering, sinkhole inducement, impact on protected plants and animals, pollutant pathways, and stream siltation. No proposal is necessary for leak detection or any other monitoring required by federal regulations.
(i) Include an objective evaluation of the environmental effects of all reasonable alternatives, and for alternatives which were eliminated from detailed study, briefly discuss the reasons for their having been eliminated. Include the alternative of no action.
(j) A geologic and hydrologic analysis of the proposed pipeline route.
(k) An environmental analysis, include a discussion of all of the areas identified and described in the most current version of the Division's Petroleum Pipeline Permit Guidelines.
(l) Means to mitigate adverse environmental impacts
(3) The permit application shall be prepared under the direction of and shall be signed and sealed by a professional engineer or a professional geologist.
(4) Permit applications shall be made available for a 30 day public comment period prior to submitting to EPD. The submitted application shall include a summary of all public comments received and a discussion of how those comments have been addressed.
(5) Within ten days of applying for a permit, the applicant shall provide:
(a) Public notice in the legal organ of each county through which the proposed route of the new petroleum pipeline or of the extension is to be located; and
(b) Written notice of the filing of an application under this Code section to all landowners whose property is located within 1,000 feet of the proposed route of the new petroleum pipeline or of the extension. Such notice shall be delivered to each landowner and contain the following language in boldface type:

'YOUR PROPERTY IS LOCATED WITHIN 1,000 FEET OF A PROPOSED PETROLEUM PIPELINE FOR WHICH AN APPLICATION FOR A PERMIT HAS BEEN FILED PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 17 OF TITLE 12 OF THE OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED. SAID CHAPTER ALONG WITH ARTICLE 4 OF CHAPTER 3 OF TITLE 22 OF THE OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED PROVIDE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS WHICH MUST BE FOLLOWED BY PETROLEUM PIPELINE COMPANIES BEFORE THEY MAY BUILD A NEW PETROLEUM PIPELINE OR MODIFY AN EXISTING PETROLEUM PIPELINE. THESE PROVISIONS OF THE OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED ALSO PROVIDE SPECIFIC RIGHTS FOR YOUR PROTECTION. YOU SHOULD FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS AND YOUR RIGHTS.'

(c) In the event that any landowner who, after reasonable efforts, cannot personally be given the notice required in 391-3-23-.04(5)(b), the applicant shall cause to be posted in a conspicuous location in the city hall and/or court house for municipal or county government(s) in which such parcels are located a copy of the proposed route of the new petroleum pipeline or of the extension with all parcels within 1,000 feet of such route clearly marked, along with the following language in boldface type:

'THE PARCELS INDICATED ON THE ATTACHED MAP ARE LOCATED WITHIN 1,000 FEET OF A PROPOSED PETROLEUM PIPELINE FOR WHICH AN APPLICATION FOR A PERMIT HAS BEEN FILED PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 17 OF TITLE 12 OF THE OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED. SAID CHAPTER ALONG WITH ARTICLE 4 OF CHAPTER 3 OF TITLE 22 OF THE OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED PROVIDE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS WHICH MUST BE FOLLOWED BY PETROLEUM PIPELINE COMPANIES BEFORE THEY MAY BUILD A NEW PETROLEUM PIPELINE OR MODIFY AN EXISTING PETROLEUM PIPELINE. THESE PROVISIONS OF THE OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED ALSO PROVIDE SPECIFIC RIGHTS FOR PROTECTION FOR AFFECTED LANDOWNERS. YOU SHOULD FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS AND YOUR RIGHTS.'

Rule 391-3-23-.04 Permit Issuance

(1) This permit shall be issued on the basis of a determination by the Director that the location and construction of the proposed pipeline, which is the subject of the application, is consistent with and not an undue hazard to the environment and natural resources of Georgia. This determination shall be made after consideration of:
(a) The information required to be contained in the petroleum pipeline company's application;
(b) The direct environmental impacts of the proposed new petroleum pipeline or the proposed extension;
(c) Alternative alignments to the proposed new petroleum pipeline or the proposed extension;
(d) Evidence that ample opportunity has been afforded for public comment;
(e) Such other factors that the director deems reasonable and applicable.
(2) The applicant shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the director should issue the permit.
(3) The director's decision shall be based on the record before the director, which shall include, but not be limited to, the applicant's submissions, written comments submitted to the director, and research the director may conduct in analyzing the application.
(4) Within seven days of the receipt of an application the Director has determined to be complete and filed, the Director shall provide for reasonable public notice of the application and the proposed route. The public notice of the application also shall make provisions for a public hearing on the application for the permit. The hearing shall be within sixty days of the date of the public notice of the application. Any interested person may submit written comments on the proposed pipeline prior to the date of the public hearing.
(5) The Director may request reasonable additional application information from the pipeline company in order to make the determination to issue a permit. If possible, any such request shall be within 45 days of the receipt of the application.
(6) In the event a permit application, which the Director has determined to be complete and filed, is not approved or denied within 150 days of the date of the publication of the public notice of the application as provided in O.C.G.A. 12-17-6(b), the application shall be deemed approved by operation of law and the permit deemed issued. The permit application information shall be provided to the Division in a timely manner so that the Director may have up to 150 days to assess the environmental effects report; to assess other information deemed relevant by the Director; to hold hearings; and to issue or deny the permit.

Rule 391-3-23-.05 Permit Amendment

(1) If, during the course of construction, conditions arise which result in a material or substantial change of any of the bases of the approved permit (including, but not limited to, deviation from the original route that goes out of the original easement or right of way, change of ownership, or new information that impacts the environmental analysis) the applicant will submit a request for a permit amendment describing the change and the reasons for the change.
(2) After review and determination that sufficient information exists to justify that the amendment is necessary and does not require a new permit application, the Director will post for 30 days a notice of the draft amendment for public comment on the web site. After close of the public comment period, the Director will grant or deny the amendment.
(3) If the proposed amendment results in additional landowners whose property will be located within 1,000 feet of the proposed route the applicant shall comply with provisions of 391-3-23-.03(5).

Rule 391-3-23-.06 Hearings and Appeals

(1) As used in this Code section, the term 'aggrieved or adversely affected' means a challenged action has caused or will cause persons injury in fact and where the injury is to an interest within the zone of interests to be protected or regulated by the provisions of this chapter that the director is empowered to administer and enforce.
(2) Any person who is aggrieved or adversely affected by a decision or action of the director under this chapter shall, upon filing a petition within 30 days after the issuance of such order or taking of such action, have a right to a hearing before an administrative law judge appointed by the board. The hearing before the administrative law judge shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' The decision of the administrative law judge shall constitute the final decision of the director, and any party to the hearing, including the department, shall have the right of judicial review thereof in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.'
(3) In the event the director asserts in response to the petition before the administrative law judge that the petitioner is not aggrieved or adversely affected, the administrative law judge shall take evidence and hear arguments on this issue and thereafter make a ruling on same before continuing with the hearing. The burden of going forward with evidence on this issue shall rest with the petitioner.

Rule 391-3-23-.07 [Repealed]

Rule 391-3-23-.08 [Repealed]