4905.94 Operator of master-meter system.

(A) To the extent known to the commission, the commission shall notify an operator of a master-meter system that the operator is subject to sections 4905.90 to 4905.96 of the Revised Code, the pipe-line safety code, safety inspections, and safety audits.

(B)

(1) Each operator of a master-meter system shall conduct safety inspections as required by sections 4905.90 to 4905.96 of the Revised Code and the pipe-line safety code. On or before the fifteenth day of March in each year, each operator of a master-meter system shall file with the commission a report stating for that master-meter system:

(a) The operator's business address and phone number, and the operator's headquarters address and phone number, if different;

(b) The number of residential, commercial, and industrial consumers or tenants served by the master-meter system;

(c) The material composition of pipe used in the master-meter system;

(d) The pipe-line footage of the master-meter system;

(e) For the calender year next preceding the annual report, the number of corrosion leaks found, corrosion leaks corrected, other leaks found, and other leaks corrected;

(f) The name of the party that performed the safety inspection for the calendar year next preceding the annual report;

(g) The name of the natural gas company currently transporting gas to the operator;

(h) Any other information the commission requires to administer and enforce sections 4905.90 to 4905.96 of the Revised Code and the pipe-line safety code.

(2) If any annual report received by the commission pursuant to this division is defective or erroneous, the commission may require the operator to amend the report within a prescribed time. Any such amendments shall be filed with the commission.

(C)

(1) The commission may direct or order the natural gas company distributing gas to a master-meter system to perform a safety inspection when the public interest so requires, when an operator of a master-meter system has violated or failed to comply with division (B) of this section or has failed to conduct any safety inspection required by sections 4905.90 to 4905.96 of the Revised Code and the pipe-line safety code, or upon request of the operator of the master-meter system. When the commission directs or orders a safety inspection under this division, it shall so notify the natural gas company in writing and send a copy of the notice to the operator of the master-meter system.

(2) The operator of a master-meter system shall permit employees and agents of a natural gas company to perform a safety inspection pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section and to review the operator's maps and records. The natural gas company shall report the findings of the safety inspection to the commission within thirty days after the inspection.

(D) The commission shall permit a natural gas company to recover all reasonable, actual expenses incurred in connection with its activities pursuant to this section, including, but not limited to, expenses incurred in performing safety inspections and in disconnecting and reconnecting service. If the company cannot recover such expenses within ninety days after directly billing the operator of the master-meter system, the commission shall permit the company to recover such expenses from all of its customers pursuant to a schedule of rates and charges. Upon its own initiative or upon application of the company, the commission may adjust the schedule to allow recovery of such expenses. The schedule and application shall be reviewed without adherence to section 4909.18 or 4909.19 of the Revised Code.

(E) A natural gas company and its respective officers, directors, employees, and agents are not liable in damages in a civil action for injuries, death, or loss to persons or property arising from their participation in or acts or omissions in connection with developing, adopting, or approving a plan for safety inspections for, performing a safety inspection of, or terminating or restoring service to a master-meter system under this section, except where such participation or acts or omissions constitute reckless, willful, or wanton misconduct.

(F) The commission shall conduct safety audits to verify any finding contained in any report of a safety inspection, investigate any complaint to determine compliance with sections 4905.90 to 4905.96 of the Revised Code and the pipe-line safety code, ensure compliance with those sections and the pipe-line safety code, or review or verify corrective action for any violation or noncompliance with those sections or the pipe-line safety code that was committed by an operator of a master-meter system.

(G) The commission by rule shall establish standards for determining unsafe conditions, gas leaks, or other safety hazards that require termination of service pursuant to division (H)(1) of this section. The standards shall incorporate, but not be limited to, the guidelines on gas leaks of the gas piping technology committee's guide for gas transmission and distribution systems.

(H)

(1) A natural gas company shall terminate service to a master-meter system or a pipe-line facility within a master-meter system when the company makes both of the following determinations:

(a) In accordance with rules adopted under division (G) of this section, that an unsafe condition, gas leak, or other safety hazard on that system or pipe-line facility poses an immediate or significant danger to life or health which requires immediate corrective action to protect the public safety;

(b) That the operator of the master-meter system has not taken immediate and sufficient corrective action. A natural gas company that so terminates service shall provide the operator of the master-meter system or its agent with personal notice, or with written notice on the premises if the operator or agent is not found on the premises, and shall post written notice in common areas, multi-unit buildings, or other conspicuous locations on the premises.

(2) The commission may issue an order directing that a natural gas company terminate service to a master-meter system upon all of the following having occurred:

(a) The commission has sent a notice of probable noncompliance by certified mail to the operator or the operator has refused access for a safety audit;

(b) The operator has continued to refuse access for a safety audit or has failed to comply and undertake corrective action in response to a notice of probable noncompliance from the commission;

(c) The commission has initiated a gas pipe-line safety proceeding pursuant to section 4905.95 of the Revised Code;

(d) The commission has found the operator has violated or failed to comply with sections 4905.90 to 4905.96 of the Revised Code or the pipe-line safety code.

(3) A natural gas company may terminate service to a master-meter system for nonpayment of expenses incurred pursuant to division (C) of this section when both of the following conditions are met:

(a) The operator of the master-meter system has failed to make payment within ninety days after it received the company's billing;

(b) The company's notice and disconnection procedures comply with sections 4933.12 and 4933.122 of the Revised Code and the commission's rules for disconnecting service to master-metered premises.

(I) Nothing in this section relieves an operator of a master-meter system from complying with sections 4905.90 to 4905.96 of the Revised Code and the pipe-line safety code.

Effective Date: 04-16-1993