Preliminary draft permanent regulations for natural gas storage facilities in California have been released by the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR).
When finalized, the regulations will replace emergency regulations the agency issued earlier this year. The draft includes new safety and testing measures that would be required for the 12 gas storage fields in the state.
DOC and DOGGR officials called the current document a “discussion draft,” intended to provide an opportunity for comment by the public and members of the industry before the formal rulemaking process begins.
Ken Harris, DOGGR’s State Oil and Gas Supervisor, said the regulations focus on ensuring environmental protection and public safety.
Measures in the draft proposal include stiffer construction standards, including tubing sub-surface safety valves; more frequent testing, including pressure tests at least every two years; and mandatory risk management plans for responding to blowouts, spills, explosions, natural disasters and other emergencies.
DOGGR will receive public comments at two public workshops. The first will be held in Sacramento on August 9th. The second will be on August 11th in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, the site of the four-month-long natural gas leak from the Aliso Canyon storage facility operated by Southern California Gas Co.
That leak, sealed in February, triggered the emergency order from Gov. Jerry Brown that will be replaced by the final regulations.