APGA Weekly Update September 8, 2016

09-08-2016 12:34

APGA Weekly Update, September 8, 2016
GIS Week at GTI: November 15-18, 2016
The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) is hosting Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Week at
GTI’s Headquarters in Des Plaines, Ill., this November 15-18. In addition to project update
presentations regarding current GTI projects using GIS & Global Navigation Satellite System
(GNSS) technologies, this week will also feature product expositions, hands-on demonstrations,
and updates from the GIS/GNSS world in general. You can register for the event here.
APGA Public Gas Policy Council Members Visit Capitol Hill
On September 7 and 8, members of APGA’s Public Gas Policy Council (PGPC) traveled to
Washington, D.C., to meet with members of their congressional delegation. The PGPC is an
advocacy group made up of elected and appointed officials from public natural gas
communities. The primary purposes of the PGPC are to assist APGA in moving legislation
forward that is important to its members, to oppose harmful legislation, and to provide advice
on other legislative related issues of importance to APGA. The group also serves as a forum for
elected officials to discuss public natural gas issues. Locally elected and appointed public
officials have a strong, persuasive, and authoritative voice in Washington, D.C., with their
elected representatives in both the House and Senate. Having a core group of elected officials
carry the public natural gas message to Congress has significantly strengthened APGA’s
advocacy efforts.
During their meetings, members of the PGPC communicated support for several items, such as
repeal of Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which mandates
the elimination of all fossil fuel-generated energy use in new or renovated federal buildings by
the year 2030, under consideration within the House-Senate Energy Bill Conference Committee.
APGA members also raised concerns regarding the impact of the furnace Supplemental Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking that was released by the Department of Energy on September 2.
Formal nominations for the PGPC will be sent out in September. If you have an elected or
appointed official from your community that would be a good advocate for public natural gas,
we strongly encourage you to submit that individuals name for the PGPC. For questions about
this article or the PGPC, please contact Dave Schryver or Scott Morrison of APGA staff at 202-
464-2742 or by email at dschryver@apga.org or smorrison@apga.org.
APGA and AGA Address Lost and Unaccounted for Natural Gas
On September 6, APGA and the American Gas Association (AGA) filed a work paper with the
North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) in response to a request from the
Environmental Defense Fund, Citizens Utility Board, Tennessee Valley Authority, Massachusetts
Attorney General’s Office and the California Public Utilities Commission. They requested that
NAESB develop a uniform and transparent industry-wide standard for calculating lost and
unaccounted for natural gas (LAUF) for use by any entity providing natural gas delivery service
that is required to report LAUF including without limitation interstate pipelines, storage
operators, intrastate pipelines, and local distribution companies. NAESB serves as an industry
forum for the development and promotion of standards, which will lead to a seamless
marketplace for wholesale and retail natural gas and electricity, as recognized by its customers,
business community, participants, and regulatory entities.
In the work paper, APGA and AGA express serious concerns regarding NAESB taking action on
the proposed standardization of the LAUF determination for several reasons. First, as a
standards development organization, it is not in NAESB’s best interest to embark upon the
exercise set forth in the LAUF request. LAUF is not a one-size-fits-all determination; it is systemspecific.
LAUF results from many factors, is impacted by many factors, and dealt with in
different ways among the various jurisdictions. By attempting to standardize the methodology
to determine LAUF, NAESB would be determining an unsettled policy pertaining to ratemaking
concepts. The filing also communicates that the request to standardize the determination of
LAUF for interstate pipelines and interstate storage operators improperly encroaches on
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) policy matters. Lastly, the filing states that the
Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016 signed into
law earlier in the year already requires that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration (PHMSA) submit a report to Congress on the metrics related to LAUF from
distribution pipelines and systems. This includes an examination of different reporting
requirements or standards, analysis of alternative requirements, and other safety-related
A copy of the filing to NAESB is available on the APGA website at
www.apga.org/correspondence. For questions on this article, please contact Dave Schryver of
APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at dschryver@apga.org.
APGA Encourages Members to Submit Data to PPDC
The Plastic Pipeline Database Committee (PPDC) is a voluntary national database of plastic
piping failure data. By reviewing failure reports from many U.S. distribution utilities, the PPDC
aims to provide early detection of pipe or components that are failing prematurely, such as
what has occurred with brittle cracking of certain plastic pipe materials. Jon Mason of Borough
of Chambersburg and Matt Stennett of Middle Tennessee Natural Gas District represent public
gas on the PPDC.
To improve the process, the PPDC has recently revised the failure report form to include more
selections for fittings, joints and causes that previously were reported as “other.” The reporting
definitions have been revised to include and explain these changes. The revised report form
and the definitions document can be downloaded www.apga.org/programs/plasticpipedata.
The PPDC is asking for and will consider any additional recommended changes before this form
is finalized and published. Please provide your recommendations to Kate Miller with AGA at
kmiller@aga.org or Junaid Faruq at jfaruq@aga.org by Friday, September 30.
If you are not actively submitting your failure data to the PPDC, APGA strongly encourages you
to do so. More information can be found on the PPDC website at
www.apga.org/programs/plasticpipedata. Submitting your data is a very simple and quick
process. Even if you have no plastic pipe failures, that data is extremely valuable too. The
more natural gas systems actively submitting data, the more comprehensive and fully
representative our data analysis is. And the more “no failure” reports we have, the more we
can prove that the hundreds of thousands of miles of plastic pipe throughout the country
delivering natural really are safe.
The real value of the PPDC is in the detailed data analysis and reporting that is published
several times a year, as well as the access to experts from across the industry that APGA
members can ask with specific questions more relevant to your system. The most recent report
can be found at www.apga.org/programs/plasticpipedata.
Thank you for your time and consideration, and please don’t hesitate to contact Matt at
mstennett@mtng.org or Jon at jmason@chambersburgpa.gov if you have any questions or
concerns about the PPDC.
Department of Energy Releases Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Residential
On September 2, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a pre-publication notice for a
Supplement Notice of a Proposed Rule (SNOPR) for residential furnaces. DOE is proposing a
nationwide mandate of 92 AFUE with a small furnace exemption for furnaces of 55,000 Btu or
less. Furnaces under the small furnace exemption would be allowed to be non-condensing; all
furnaces above that threshold would have to be condensing. The rule would go into effect five
years after the rule is finalized. This SNOPR will have a significant impact upon public gas
systems, particularly those in warmer climates.
In response to the release of the SNOPR, APGA released a statement communicating that DOE
“has once again proposed a new energy conservation standard for natural gas furnaces that will
harm consumers and ultimately undermine energy efficiency.” APGA also stated that “the
proposed rule will cause uneconomic fuel switching as many consumers—especially in southern
states—will be compelled to change their natural gas furnaces to electric heat pumps.” Lastly,
APGA communicated that the SNOPR “will impose significant harm upon APGA members’
consumers, and as a result, APGA will leave no stone unturned, including possible litigation, to
protect these consumers.”
DOE has provided only 30 days to comment, which is wholly inadequate and unreasonable. In
addition to the 488-page rule, DOE has released seven additional files and models, including a
1,198-page technical support document. All of this data must be interpreted and understood
to comment meaningfully on the proposal. DOE has scheduled a public meeting for October 17
to discuss the data that presently should occur after the comment deadline. APGA will seek an
extension of the comment deadline. APGA’s Direct-Use Task Group and Regulatory
Subcommittee will play a lead role in developing APGA’s comments in response to the SNOPR.
A copy of the APGA statement referenced in this article is available on the APGA website at
www.apga.org/news/pressreleases. For questions on this article, please contact Dave Schryver
of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at dschryver@apga.org.
EIA Reports Storage Increase of 36 Bcf to Put Working Gas Storage at 3,437 Bcf
Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, September 8, 2016, which reports
the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, September 2, 2016. A 36 Bcf increase has been
Working gas in storage was 3,437 Bcf as of Friday, September 2, 2016, according to EIA
estimates. This represents a net increase of 36 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 196 Bcf
higher than last year at this time and 306 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,131 Bcf. At 3,437
Bcf, total working gas is above the five-year historical range.

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