The text of Rep. Steve Knight’s proposed legislation calling on various federal agencies to define and impose safety standards for the operation, environmental protection and integrity management of underground natural gas storage facilities was published Friday. The bill text, as introduced, appears below.
H. R. 4429
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 2, 2016
Mr. Knight introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To amend title 49, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Transportation to issue minimum uniform safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities, and for other purposes.
Section 1.Short title
This Act may be cited as the Natural Gas Leak Prevention Act of 2016.
Section 2.Underground natural gas storage facilities
Section 60101(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended—
(1)in paragraph (21)(B), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon;
(2)in paragraph (24), by striking and at the end;
(3)in paragraph (25), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and
(4)by adding at the end the following:
(26)underground natural gas storage facility means a gas pipeline facility that stores gas in an underground facility, including—
(A)a depleted hydrocarbon reservoir;
(B)an aquifer reservoir; or
(C)a solution mined salt cavern reservoir.
(b)Standards for underground natural gas storage facilities
Chapter 601 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 60103 the following:
60103A.Standards for underground natural gas storage facilities
(a)Minimum uniform safety standards
Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the heads of other relevant Federal agencies, shall issue minimum uniform safety standards, incorporating, to the extent practicable, consensus standards for the operation, environmental protection, and integrity management of underground natural gas storage facilities.
In developing uniform safety standards under subsection (a), the Secretary shall—
(1)consider the economic impacts of the regulations on individual gas customers to the extent practicable;
(2)ensure that the regulations do not have a significant economic impact on end users to the extent practicable; and
(3)consider existing consensus standards.
A fee shall be imposed on an entity operating an underground natural gas storage facility to which this section applies. Any such fee imposed shall be collected before the end of the fiscal year to which it applies.
(2)Means of collection
The Secretary shall prescribe procedures to collect fees under this subsection. The Secretary may use a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States Government or of a State or local government to collect the fee and may reimburse the department, agency, or instrumentality a reasonable amount for its services.
(3)Use of fees
There is established an underground natural gas storage facility safety account in the Pipeline Safety Fund established under section 60301, in the Treasury of the United States.
(B)Use of fees
A fee collected under this subsection—
(i)shall be deposited in the underground natural gas storage facility safety account; and
(ii)if the fee is related to an underground natural gas storage facility, may be used only for an activity related to underground natural gas storage safety under this section.
Amounts collected under this subsection shall be made available only to the extent provided in advance in an appropriation law for an activity related to underground natural gas storage safety.
(d)Rules of construction
Nothing in this section may be construed to affect any Federal regulation relating to gas pipeline facilities that is in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this section.
Nothing in this section may be construed to authorize the Secretary—
(A)to prescribe the location of an underground natural gas storage facility; or
(B)to require the Secretary’s permission to construct a facility referred to in subparagraph (A).
The table of sections for chapter 601 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 60103 the following:
60103A. Standards for underground natural gas storage facilities.