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On November 13, members of the APGA Board of Directors and the Regulatory Subcommittee met with members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Washington,D.C. The APGA representatives that participated in the meeting included: John Leary, APGA First Vice Chair and Gas Superintendent for the Borough of Chambersburg; John Gregg, APGA’s General Counsel; and Dave Schryver, APGA’s Executive Vice President and incoming President and CEO. The issues that were raised in the meeting included the liquidity of natural gas price indices, infrastructure, and pipeline rates. APGA leadership meets with the FERC Commissioners twice a year as a means to communicate ...
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On November 13, APGA members met with Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) leadership to discuss important pipeline safety topics. PHMSA leadership included: Alan Mayberry, Associate Administrator of Pipeline Safety; Massoud Tahamtani, Deputy Associate Administrator of Policy and Programs; and, Linda Daugherty, Deputy Associate Administrator of Field Operations. APGA was represented by: Gordon King, Okaloosa Gas District; Stephen Mayfield, City of Tallahassee; Matt Stennett, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; and, Carl Smith, Greenville Utility Commission. Discussion topics included gas system supply and reliability, the definitions of ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, November 14, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, November 8. A 3 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,732 Bcf as of Friday, November 8, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 3 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 491 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 2 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,730 Bcf. At 3,732 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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On November 6 and 7, John Erickson spoke on behalf of APGA and the APGA Security and Integrity Foundation (SIF) at the Kansas Public Service Commission’s Pipeline Safety Seminar in Manhattan, Kansas. In the SIF session, John focused on lessons learned after eight years of the SIF’s Simple Handy Risk-based Integrity Management Plan (SHRIMP) program. Over 1,600 distribution operators have used the SHRIMP program to develop their Distribution Integrity Management Plans (DIMP). John’s talk was based on feedback received from SHRIMP users and state regulators who have audited systems using SHRIMP. One overriding lesson learned is that many operators don’t fully understand ...
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On November 15, APGA will begin a “Did You Know” campaign in an email that will be sent out to all members. The campaign is intended to provide APGA members with information on a monthly basis that they can share with audiences such as customers, policymakers, media, employees, etc. On the 15th of each month, APGA will send out to its members a piece that focuses on specific issues ranging from the benefits of direct use to cooking with gas and the impacts of mandated electrification. The monthly series is meant to provide resources and education to help our members communicate the benefits of natural gas on a variety of topics. You are welcome to use the facts ...
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On November 6, APGA sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) expressing concern about the lack of liquidity in many U.S. natural gas markets and the impact that is having on index prices established by price reporting agencies. As communicated in the letter, a recent report indicated that “natural gas fixed-price volume potentially reported to price-index publishers experienced the largest year-on-year drop since 2009 [for 2018 calendar year].” APGA has been involved in this issue for several years. Donnie Sharp of Huntsville Utilities served as APGA’s representative on a 2017 FERC Technical Conference on the issue of hub liquidity. ...
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On November 7, Dave Schryver, APGA’s Executive Vice President and incoming President & CEO, spoke at the Tennessee Gas Association’s Fall Management Conference. The conference was well attended by a large number of representatives from Tennessee’s public natural gas systems as well as representatives from investor-owned utilities and pipelines. In his presentation, Dave discussed the many benefits that the direct use of natural gas provides, including affordability, and reliability. He also discussed the efforts to ban natural gas in new construction in several cities in California, including Berkeley and San Jose, and how that effort may spread to other ...
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On November 5, APGA staff held a webinar on the International Code Council (ICC) voting process. Specifically, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) was discussed, as it is currently being revised. APGA members have the unique opportunity to be an integral part of the voting process, a role that employees of investor-owned utilities do not have. The webinar provided updates on the voting process and highlighted proposed modifications from the recent ICC Public Comment Hearings, some of which are very concerning. A few stakeholders are suggesting the IECC should mandate homes be “electrification-ready,” meaning they have the circuitry installed for ...
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Prior to the APGA meetings in Huntsville, Bert Kalisch, APGA President & CEO, addressed the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities' Seventh Annual Energy Conference. Bert provided a regulatory and legislative update that included a focus on pipeline safety reauthorization and electrification/decarbonization. Much of the presentation centered around how the direct use of natural gas provides a multitude of benefits to energy consumers, communities and our country as a whole; and, that affordable, reliable and efficient natural gas has already played an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Bert reported that APGA’s efforts are focused on highlighting ...
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LIHEAP Funds Released

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On November 1, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education released $3.32 billion of the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2020 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding. This accounts for approximately 90 percent of FFY 2020 regular block grant funding to LIHEAP grantees. The total amount of funding is $3.68 billion, level with FFY 2019, and is provided under the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2020, and Health Extenders Act of 2019 (Continuing Resolution), which the president signed into law on September 27, 2019. LIHEAP is a federal block grant program that provides money to low-income individuals/families to help them meet ...
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From October 29-31, APGA held its fourth annual Operations Conference in Huntsville, Ala. The 276 attendees from 71 APGA member systems had access to 30 different speakers at the conference. In addition, the sold-out exhibition provided an opportunity to network with 38 exhibitors that shared their technologies and solutions for some of the industry’s greatest challenges. Tommy Battle, Mayor of Huntsville, and Alan Mayberry, Associate Administrator of Pipeline Safety at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, provided opening presentations. New this year, attendees were able to choose between two tracks of presentations. One track focused ...
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On November 1, APGA submitted comments to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) on their proposal for addressing the Professional Engineering (PE) exemption for natural gas utility work. Following the September 2018 incident in Merrimack Valley, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a recommendation to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to “eliminate the professional engineer licensure exemption for public utility work and require a professional engineer’s seal on public utility drawings.” In January 2019, the Massachusetts DPU issued interim guidance to investor owned utilities outlining a few “complex jobs” that will now need ...
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On October 1, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines: MAOP Reconfirmation, Expansion of Assessments, and Other Related Amendments Final Rule. After careful review of the final rule, two elements were identified as unclear. The industry jointly drafted and submitted a Petition for Reconsideration to PHMSA requesting the revision or clarification of those elements. The petition was submitted on November 1. The first area of clarification pertains to the new recordkeeping requirement for class locations. The class location provision of 49 CFR 192 is applicable to both gas distribution ...
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The APGA System Operational Achievement Recognition (SOAR) program was highlighted this week at the Pipeline Safety Trust (PST) Conference in New Orleans, La. Last year, Erin Kurilla, APGA Vice President of Operations and Pipeline Safety, provided a presentation on the SOAR program at the conference. This year, during the session titled “Have Major New Non-Regulatory Initiatives in the Past 20 Years Improved Safety?,” Luke Litteken, Senior Vice President of Gas at Xcel Energy, furthered the exposure of SOAR through his presentation. He shared two voluntary and industry-led gas distribution programs that are making a difference: APGA SOAR and the American Gas ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, November 7, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, November 1. A 34 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,729 Bcf as of Friday, November 1, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 34 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 530 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 29 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,700 Bcf. At 3,729 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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On October 30 in Atlanta, eleven organizations and individuals were honored at Natural Gas Vehicles for America’s (NGVAmerica) 2019 Industry Summit and Annual Meeting for their contributions toward the advancement of natural gas as a transportation fuel. APGA is very proud to have two of our representatives receive the honor: Pat Riley of Gibson County Utility District, and Bert Kalisch, APGA’s President and CEO. These annual awards are awarded to nominees from all stakeholder segments, including but not limited to: NGV industry equipment and service suppliers, policymakers, customers and clean-air/clean transportation advocates. Nominees’ disciplines include ...
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At the 2019 APGA Operations Conference, APGA’s Executive Vice President and Incoming CEO, Dave Schryver, presented plaques to the APGA Safety Contest winners. The APGA Safety Contest is an annual award given out to APGA public natural gas system members for dedication to safety based on the systems' overall incident (lost work time) rates. Public natural gas systems are divided into six groups based on annual number of man-hours worked, and the winner of each group is calculated based on total man-hours worked and lost hours due to accident or injury from January 1 to December 31 of the calendar year. In his remarks, Dave stated that “Safety is paramount when ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, October 31, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, October 25. An 89 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 3,695 Bcf as of Friday, October 25, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 89 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 559 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 52 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,643 Bcf. At 3,695 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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For a few days in October, APGA staff was pleased to join elected officials from Georgia for meetings on Capitol Hill. Several mayors and other city officials visited Washington, D.C., with representatives from the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia. The contingent was able to have valuable conversation with almost all members of the Georgia delegation. Information was shared on the importance to enact policies that support the direct use of natural gas. There was also dialogue on the significance of appropriate pipeline safety reauthorization legislation. Other legislative priorities for public natural gas utilities in Georgia, as well as all APGA members, ...
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On October 18, APGA submitted comments to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) on an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding carbon monoxide (CO) and residential gas furnaces and boilers. While APGA is focused on ensuring that their customers are safe, there are serious concerns with what CPSC is proposing. The Air-conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has highlighted these issues, some specific to current capabilities of CO monitors that would need to be installed on the equipment. As with any policy, APGA wants to ensure that fuel switching is not a result. Consumers need to have choice with their appliances, ...
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