Don Santa, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America today gave his thoughts on a new Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration interim final rule to regulate natural gas storage. According to Santa, 12 months is not enough time to successfully implement this rule across America’s network of underground gas storage facilities, and he hopes PHMSA takes INGAA’s concerns under consideration.
“INGAA’s members are strongly committed to safety – of the pipelines and all of the facilities that they operate,” Santa said. “For that reason, INGAA’s board in February supported voluntary adoption of these consensus standards in advance of any federal regulation. And we supported PHMSA promulgating federal natural gas storage rules based on those recommended practices to ensure consistency in implementing those practices across all underground storage operators. Extensive effort will be required to implement a structured and documented integrity management program across the roughly 400 underground gas storage facilities in the United States and we are concerned that a rushed 12-month implementation of the entirety of the recommended practices would impose a substantial burden on operators and could undermine the effectiveness of these risk-based integrity management programs. In contrast, the implementation period for the gas transmission pipeline integrity management program requirements was ten years.”