Establishes in statute reporting requirements for various classifications of gas leaks by utility corporations.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to reporting of natural gas leaks by gas corporations
PURPOSE OF THE BILL:
The bill would (a) require the classification by gas companies of all reported leaks of natural gas; (b) require that each gas company report annually to the Department of Public Service (the "department") the location and classification of each reported leak, the date each such leak was classified and the date each such leak is repaired; (c) require that the department make such information available upon request to any municipal or state public safety official and to members of the legislature; and (d) require the Public Service Commission (the "commission") to commence a proceeding to investigate the need for additional winter surveillance of gas pipelines due to extended frost.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill would amend the public service law by adding a new section 67-b.
Subdivision one of section 67-b that would require the department to establish a uniform system for classifying natural gas leaks. Subdivision two of section 67-b would describe the system to be used to classify the leaks according to the level of hazard presented to buildings or the public, based on location and/or relative magnitude. Leaks would be classified type 1 (which constitutes a potentially hazardous condition to the public or buildings), type 2A (which does not present an immediately hazardous condition to the public or buildings, but is of a nature that requires frequent surveillance and scheduled repair), type 2 (which does not present an immediately hazardous condition to the public or buildings, but is of a nature requiring scheduled repair), or type 3 (which is not immediately hazardous at the time of detection and can be reasonably expected to remain that way).
Subdivision 3 of section 67-b would require each gas corporation to report annually to the department, beginning March 1, 2015, the location of each Type 1, Type 2A, Type 2 and Type 3 leak, the date of classification of each such leak, and the date of repair performed on each such leak as required under such gas corporation's approved operations and maintenance programs. Subdivision 3 would also require that such gas leak information be made available to any municipal or state public safety official and any member of the legislature upon request to the department.
Subdivision 4 of section 67-b would require the department to promulgate regulations necessary to implement the uniform leak classification standards, and to oversee and monitor gas company response and reporting.
Subdivision 5 of section 67-b would require the commission to investigate whether New York State should require winter surveillance
and patrol of cast iron or ductile iron pipelines and to determine the effect on such pipelines of extended frost cap conditions.
Section 2 of the bill would provide for an immediate effective date.
Under current regulations, gas companies are required to classify leaks of natural gas according to severity, which is determined by a combination of location and the magnitude of the leak. They maintain records of the leaks but are not required to report them to the department, which relies on periodic audits of the companies to ensure compliance with relevant regulations. Because the department maintains no records, none are available to public safety officials.
The proposed change would lead to a new level of transparency regarding the locations and classifications of leaks, which would accomplish several important public safety goals. Knowledge of existing leaks would facilitate safe, rapid response by local first responders to accidents and other emergencies that might occur at or near the locations of known gas leaks. Further, members of the public would be more likely to call 911 or their local gas company about suspected gas leaks if they believed that the information would be included into a readily accessible database that would be used to help prevent property damage, injuries or even loss of life.
Some administrative costs to the Department of Public Service
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7430--A Cal. No. 925 IN SENATE May 14, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sens. MAZIARZ, PERKINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Tele- communications -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first and second report, ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to reporting of natural gas leaks by gas corporations THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 67-b to read as follows: S 67-B. NATURAL GAS LEAK REPORTING REQUIREMENTS. 1. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTABLISH A UNIFORM NATURAL GAS LEAK CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM AS SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION. 2. ALL LEAKS SHALL BE ASSESSED A CLASS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING SYSTEM: (A) TYPE 1 CLASSIFICATION. (1) A TYPE 1 LEAK IS ONE WHICH, DUE TO ITS LOCATION AND/OR RELATIVE MAGNITUDE, CONSTITUTES A POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS CONDITION TO THE PUBLIC OR BUILDINGS. IN THE EVENT OF A TYPE 1 LEAK CLASSIFICATION THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS APPLY: (I) THE LEAK SHALL REQUIRE AN IMMEDIATE EFFORT TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY; (II) CONTINUOUS ACTION SHALL BE THEREAFTER TAKEN UNTIL THE CONDITION IS NO LONGER HAZARDOUS; AND (III) COMPLETION OF REPAIRS SHALL BE SCHEDULED ON A REGULAR DAY-AFT- ER-DAY BASIS, OR THE CONDITION KEPT UNDER DAILY SURVEILLANCE UNTIL THE SOURCE OF THE LEAK HAS BEEN CORRECTED. (2) TYPE 1 LEAKS INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: (I) DAMAGE BY CONTRACTORS OR OUTSIDE SOURCES RESULTING IN LEAKAGE; (II) ANY INDICATION ON A COMBUSTIBLE GAS INDICATOR (CGI) OF NATURAL GAS ENTERING BUILDINGS OR TUNNELS; (III) ANY READING ON A CGI WITHIN FIVE FEET (1.5 METERS) OF A BUILDING WALL;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15044-02-4 S. 7430--A 2
(IV) ANY READING OF FOUR PERCENT OR GREATER GAS-IN-AIR ON A CGI WITHIN MANHOLES, VAULTS OR CATCH BASINS (SAMPLING WILL BE CONDUCTED WITH THE STRUCTURE IN ITS NORMAL CONDITION AS NEARLY AS PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE); OR (V) ANY LEAK WHICH, IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE OPERATING PERSONNEL AT THE SCENE, IS REGARDED AS POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS. (B) TYPE 2A CLASSIFICATION. (1) A TYPE 2A LEAK DOES NOT PRESENT AN IMMEDIATELY HAZARDOUS CONDITION TO THE PUBLIC OR BUILDINGS, BUT IS OF A NATURE THAT REQUIRES FREQUENT SURVEILLANCE AND SCHEDULED REPAIR. IN THE EVENT OF A TYPE 2A LEAK CLASSIFICATION THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS APPLY: (I) THE LEAK SHALL BE REPAIRED WITHIN A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED SIX MONTHS; AND (II) THE LEAK SHALL BE MAINTAINED UNDER SURVEILLANCE WITH A FREQUENCY NOT TO EXCEED TWO WEEKS UNTIL REPAIRED. (2) TYPE 2A LEAKS INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: (I) ANY READING OF TEN PERCENT OR GREATER GAS-IN-AIR IN ANY AREA CONTINUOUSLY PAVED FROM THE CURB TO THE BUILDING WALL, WHICH IS MORE THAN FIVE FEET (1.5 METERS) BUT WITHIN THIRTY FEET (9.1 METERS) OF THE BUILDING AND INSIDE THE CURBLINE OR SHOULDER OF THE ROAD; (II) ANY READING, IN AN UNPAVED AREA, OF TWENTY PERCENT OR GREATER GAS-IN-AIR WHICH IS MORE THAN FIVE FEET (1.5 METERS) BUT WITHIN TWENTY FEET (6.1 METERS) OF THE BUILDING AND INSIDE THE CURB OR SHOULDER OF THE ROAD; OR (III) ANY LEAK, OTHER THAN TYPE 1, WHICH, UNDER FROST OR OTHER CONDI- TIONS, IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE OPERATING PERSONNEL AT THE SCENE SHOULD BE CLASSIFIED AS A TYPE 2A. (C) TYPE 2 CLASSIFICATION. (1) A TYPE 2 LEAK DOES NOT PRESENT AN IMME- DIATE HAZARDOUS CONDITION TO THE PUBLIC OR BUILDINGS, BUT IS OF A NATURE REQUIRING SCHEDULED REPAIR. IN THE EVENT OF A TYPE 2 LEAK CLASSIFICATION THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS APPLY: (I) THE LEAK SHALL BE REPAIRED WITHIN A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED ONE YEAR, EXCEPT THAT LEAKS CLASSIFIED UNDER CLAUSE (V) OF SUBPARAGRAPH TWO OF THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE REPAIRED WITHIN SIX MONTHS; AND (II) THE LEAK SHALL BE MAINTAINED UNDER SURVEILLANCE WITH A FREQUENCY NOT TO EXCEED TWO MONTHS, EXCEPT THAT LEAKS CLASSIFIED UNDER CLAUSE (V) OF SUBPARAGRAPH TWO OF THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE SURVEILLED EVERY TWO WEEKS. (2) TYPE 2 LEAKS INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: (I) ANY READING LESS THAN TEN PERCENT GAS-IN-AIR BETWEEN THE BUILDING AND THE CURBLINE IN ANY AREA CONTINUOUSLY PAVED WHICH IS MORE THAN FIVE FEET (1.5 METERS) BUT WITHIN THIRTY FEET (9.1 METERS) OF THE BUILDING AND INSIDE THE CURBLINE OR SHOULDER OF THE ROAD; OR (II) ANY READING LESS THAN TWENTY PERCENT GAS-IN-AIR IN ANY UNPAVED AREA WHICH IS MORE THAN FIVE FEET (1.5 METERS) BUT WITHIN TWENTY FEET (6.1 METERS) OF A BUILDING AND INSIDE THE CURBLINE OR SHOULDER OF THE ROAD; OR (III) ANY READING OF THIRTY PERCENT OR GREATER GAS-IN-AIR IN AN UNPAVED AREA WHICH IS MORE THAN TWENTY FEET (6.1 METERS) BUT WITHIN FIFTY FEET (15.2 METERS) OF A BUILDING AND INSIDE THE CURBLINE OR SHOUL- DER OF THE ROAD; OR (IV) ANY READING OF THIRTY PERCENT OR GREATER GAS-IN-AIR IN A PAVED AREA WHICH IS MORE THAN THIRTY FEET (9.1 METERS) BUT WITHIN FIFTY FEET (15.2 METERS) OF A BUILDING AND INSIDE THE CURBLINE OR SHOULDER OF THE ROAD; OR (V) ANY READING ABOVE ONE PERCENT BUT BELOW FOUR PERCENT GAS-IN-AIR, WITHIN MANHOLES, VAULTS OR CATCH BASINS (SAMPLING WILL BE CONDUCTED WITHS. 7430--A 3
THE STRUCTURE IN ITS NORMAL CONDITION AS NEARLY AS IS PHYSICALLY POSSI- BLE). (D) TYPE 3 CLASSIFICATION. A TYPE 3 LEAK IS NOT IMMEDIATELY HAZARDOUS AT THE TIME OF DETECTION AND CAN BE REASONABLY EXPECTED TO REMAIN THAT WAY. (1) A TYPE 3 LEAK IS ANY LEAK NOT CLASSIFIED AS TYPE 1, 2A OR 2. (2) TYPE 3 LEAKS SHALL BE REEVALUATED DURING THE NEXT REQUIRED LEAKAGE SURVEY OR ANNUALLY, WHICHEVER IS LESS. 3. BEGINNING MARCH FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, EACH GAS CORPORATION SHALL REPORT ANNUALLY TO THE DEPARTMENT THE LOCATION OF EACH TYPE 1, TYPE 2A, TYPE 2 AND TYPE 3 LEAK EXISTING AS OF THAT DATE CLASSIFIED BY THE CORPORATION, THE DATE EACH TYPE 1, TYPE 2A, TYPE 2 AND TYPE 3 LEAK WAS CLASSIFIED AND THE DATE OF REPAIR PERFORMED ON EACH TYPE 1, TYPE 2A, TYPE 2 AND TYPE 3 LEAK AS PART OF ITS REQUIRED GAS SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM AS REQUIRED UNDER ITS APPROVED OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE PROGRAMS. EACH GAS CORPORATION SHALL ALSO INCLUDE IN SUCH REPORT A STATEMENT INDI- CATING (A) WHETHER IT HAD OR HAS A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES, IN ITS OWN EMPLOY, TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE THE REPAIRS IDENTIFIED IN THE REPORT WITHIN THE TIMEFRAMES SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION, (B) A LIST OF PIPELINE REPLACEMENT OR OTHER SIMILAR SAFETY PROJECTS UNDERTAKEN DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD AND WHETHER IT HAS A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF EMPLOY- EES, IN ITS OWN EMPLOY, TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE SUCH PROJECTS, AND (C) THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES REQUIRED FOR SUCH REPAIR AND PIPELINE REPLACE- MENT PROJECTS AND THEIR RESPECTIVE CLASSIFICATIONS. SUCH GAS LEAK INFOR- MATION SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ANY MUNICIPAL OR STATE PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIAL AND ANY MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE UPON REQUEST TO THE DEPART- MENT. 4. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THE UNIFORM LEAK CLASSIFICATION STANDARDS AS SPECIFIED IN THIS SECTION, AND SHALL OVERSEE AND MONITOR COMPANY RESPONSE AND REPORTING. 5. THE COMMISSION SHALL COMMENCE A PROCEEDING TO INVESTIGATE WHETHER NEW YORK STATE SHOULD REQUIRE THE WINTER SURVEILLANCE AND PATROL OF CAST IRON OR DUCTILE IRON PIPELINES IN THE STATE AND SHALL DETERMINE WHETHER THE PRESENCE OF EXTENDED FROST CAP CONDITIONS MAY RESULT IN ADDITIONAL STRESS ON CAST IRON OR DUCTILE IRON PIPE SEGMENTS, REQUIRING ENHANCED SURVEILLANCE AND PATROL. THE DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO ESTABLISH MINI- MUM UNIFORM PROCEDURES FOR CAST IRON AND DUCTILE IRON SURVEILLANCE AND PATROLS. GAS COMPANIES ARE AUTHORIZED TO ESTABLISH PROCEDURES THAT EXCEED ANY MINIMUM STANDARDS AT THEIR DISCRETION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.