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Gas Pipeline Disclosure Required July 1, 2013

March 14, 2013

San Bruno Pipeline PhotoThe following noted below in blue is the language from the California Association of Realtors memo regarding new regulations, just   one of many.  It informs us that every contract must include notice of the possibility of gas pipelines and how that graphics of pipelines can be found at www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov.

I did click on this website and entered an address where I knew there was a pipeline adjacent to the property.  After that, it got difficult to get more information as the graphics and tools are not as user friendly as I would like.  I would suggest that you listen to the 8 minute tutorial on the website before getting started.  But there are maps with pipelines in proximity as well as how to find out how close they are to the location you are requesting.  You may not get all the detail you want but at least you get an idea as to where they are.  The picture can be printed to a pdf file from that website.

Disclosing Gas and Hazardous Liquid Transmission Pipelines
Every contract for the sale of residential real property must contain a specified notice regarding gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines. This notice informs buyers that the U.S. Department of Transportation maintains the general location of these pipelines through the National Pipeline Mapping System at http://www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov. This new requirement is a response to the 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno and other tragedies that have occurred. Delivery of the notice to a buyer shields sellers and brokers from liability as it will be deemed adequate to inform the buyer about the existence of a statewide database for the location of gas and hazardous liquid transmission pipelines, and information from the database regarding those locations. C.A.R. will revise our standard form purchase agreements to comply with this new requirement.
Assembly Bill 1511 (codified as Cal. Civil Code § 2079.10.5) (effective July 1, 2013).

It was obvious to me that most consumers may not go to the website that is noted in the updated CAR contract.  Instead they may rely on a company that specializes in what is called natural hazard disclosures.  These would include Property ID, JCP-NHD, Disclosure Source and First American NHD to name a few that are commonly used.  Most of these issue a sort of disclosure and again source to the website noted above as well as to the local PG&E website.  One company indicates that a particular property is within a ¼ mile of a gas pipeline.   One other company I contacted said they would not put that sort of information in a disclosure as they cannot be sure of where the pipelines actually are.

In any case, Buyers as consumers, if you are concerned about this issue, look around a property, take a walk and see if there are pipeline notifications, usually on a metal sign near the road.  Unlike power lines, we cannot see what is under the ground near our potential home.  Then take a look yourself at the information on the web.

The notification is only to tell you where to look for the information and most of the natural hazard disclosures also say the same thing. Realtors and third parties can only make you aware of the potential issue; as per CAR disclosure, this notice protects Sellers and Brokers.  It is still up to the consumer to do their due diligence before buying a property.

 

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