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Expanding Federal Oversight on Horizon for Gas Storage Operators

Expanding Federal Oversight on Horizon for Gas Storage Operators

Expanding Federal Oversight on Horizon for Gas Storage Operators

Underground natural gas storage operators are facing historic regulatory challenges as the federal government expands its oversight for the more than 400 active storage facilities in the United States. These operations represent a combined capacity of 4.8 trillion cubic feet of marketable gas. As an energy equivalent, this would meet the gas needs of all U.S. residential customers for a year, including winter heating.

Historically, federal oversight of underground gas storage has focused on initial environmental impact reviews and on ensuring that the storage operations do not wield excessive market power or create inequitable financial impacts on gas ratepayers. Day-to-day operations and maintenance reviews of gas storage facilities have more often been the purview of state agencies. However, in 2016, there was a major regulatory shift when the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) was granted oversight authority for these gas storage operations following highly publicized gas leak incidents, particularly the 2015 leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility in California.

Expanding Federal Oversight on Horizon for Gas Storage Operators

Download the full report to learn more about risk factors driving the increasing federal role for underground gas storage regulation and how operators can begin planning now for compliance. [Tweet This]

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