House Advances Gas Storage Safety Proposals
Washington, DC – Today the House Transportation Committee passed the PIPES Act. This legislation will require federal regulation of natural gas storage, including the Aliso Canyon Storage facility in Porter Ranch which recently experienced the largest natural gas leak in US history. Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), whose home is as close as any to the recent leak, issued the following statement:
“After the Valley was subjected to the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history, I’ve been urging tough federal regulations of natural gas storage facilities. In January I had a chance to bring this up with the President and the Vice President, both of whom promised to work with me in developing safety regulations.
“Existing law gives PHMSA, the federal agency that regulates pipelines, the legal authority to adopt regulations for natural gas storage safety. But for decades they simply haven’t bothered to use that authority. My discussions with the President, the Secretary of Energy, and the Secretary of Transportation lead me to believe that this agency will use its authority this year.
“But it’s not enough to rely on promises from the administration. Legislation should be adopted requiring PHMSA to issue natural gas storage safety regulations. Accordingly I’m pleased that the Transportation Committee passed a provision requiring PHMSA to use its existing power, and adopt safety regulations.
“I look forward to improving the legislative language as the bill goes through the legislative process.”
For nearly four months, the northern Los Angeles community of Porter Ranch suffered from the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history. More than 7,000 families were displaced from their homes and forced to relocate. Schools in the area have been closed. Currently, there are no federal regulations for gas storage facilities.