(a) After an emergency release has occurred, a pipeline operator, or its employee or agent, may not dispose of, destroy, or alter the part of a pipeline or LNG facility that was involved in the emergency release until approval is granted by the commissioner. The authority of the commissioner to grant approval may not be delegated.
(b) This subdivision does not prevent the repair of a pipeline in the ground without the approval of the commissioner, or the excavation and removal from the ground of a pipeline or part of a pipeline without the approval of the commissioner. However, the pipeline may not be altered with the intent to prevent or hinder a determination of the cause of the emergency release.
A person who knowingly violates subdivision 1, or who denies the director or the director's designee access to the pipeline or LNG facility for the purposes of inspection, is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.