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Section 8: Disposition of Existing Abandoned or Idled Utility Facilities

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Abandoned or Idled Pipelines

For specific information on abandoned or idled pipelines, refer to 49CFR, §192.727. In addition, 49CFR, §192.605 requires each utility to maintain a procedural manual for operations and maintenance.

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Existing Facilities Abandoned in Place

When utilities are not being relocated or adjusted, limited funds are available for any necessary removal processes. Federal funds are available if the existing facility poses a safety hazard to the traveling public. To qualify for Federal funds, proof must be provided in the form of an accident history or safety study that justifies the expense. Otherwise, neither Federal nor State funds are available for removal purposes. The reason for this interpretation is that both Federal and State law refer to the “relocation” of utilities, defined as the removal and reinstallation of the facility. This definition applies regardless of the location of the utility's facility. Utilities requiring only removal of existing facilities should be treated as a right of way acquisition item. This should be coordinated with Right of Way Project Delivery. Plans need to specify abandonment procedures, per 49CFR, §192.727.

Utilities are responsible for removal of all abandoned hazardous material pipelines. If the abandoned pipelines were placed by permit, it is non-reimbursable; otherwise, it is reimbursable.

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