Sep 29 2015
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, today discussed the challenges facing states regarding inspections of interstate underground natural gas storage facilities. The dialogue took place during a hearing to debate the Pipeline Safety Act, the law that authorizes Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) federal pipeline safety programs.
“The safety of Kansans is our top priority, and they deserve to know that their homes and businesses are being protected,” Sen. Moran said. “I am hopeful that the Underground Gas Storage Facility Safety Act, or a similar proposal, will be considered by Congress so that states have the authority to work with the Department of Transportation to inspect interstate underground gas storage facilities.”
Sen. Moran sponsors legislation, Underground Gas Storage Facility Safety Act (S.1768), introduced by U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) that would allow states to monitor the wellbores in interstate underground gas storage facilities. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation may approve a state’s inspection plan.
At issue is a 2009 District Court ruling that determined Kansas, through the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC), could not monitor its own storage fields if the gas in those facilities is in interstate transportation. In the four years since the ruling, the state has been barred from inspecting storage sites, and the federal government, specifically, PHMSA has failed to act.
In Kansas, there are 11 interstate underground storage sites containing more than 270 billion cubic feet of gas.