On November 16, 2017, the New York Public Service Commission (“PSC”) issued its Notice of Collaborative Regarding Gas Gathering Line Procedures (“Notice”). This notice implements the PSC’s October 2017 order directing the New York State Department of Public Service(“Department”) to evaluate and address pipeline safety issues associated with natural gas gathering and distribution lines.
Three sessions are to be held: (1) one in Corning, NY, on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, from 5 PM to 7 PM; (2) one in Tonawanda, NY, on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, from 1 PM to 3 PM; and (3) the last, in Tonawanda, NY, on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, from 5 PM to 7 PM.
The purpose of the sessions is two-fold. The first objective is to gather information necessary to provide adequate safety oversight, including developing an inventory of locations and owners of natural gas gathering lines in New York State. The second is to develop best safety-related practices in the gathering line industry, including relative to gas odorization requirements.
Information gathering will focus on the following questions: (1) whether the gas delivered or received is odorized; (2) whether leakage surveys are conducted on the gathering line; (3) whether there are right-of-way issues with wells on private property; (4) how the natural gas is metered between the operator and purchaser; (5) how the natural gas is metered between the operator and an end-user supplied by the operator; (6) how operators inform nearby property owners of the existence of a gathering line or respond to landowner questions; and (7) how operators interface with first responders and coordinate emergency response.
In terms of participants, all gathering line operators (or their designated representatives) and local distribution companies in New York State are required to attend at least one session. Customers and companies under contract with gathering line operators are invited to attend. Interested persons and entities are also invited to submit written comment by December 22, 2017. The specifics of the Notice fully set forth can be viewed HERE.