On February 22, 2016, APGA submitted testimony for a hearing this Thursday within the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on reauthorization of the Pipeline Safety Act. A copy of the testimony is attached. Within the testimony APGA makes these points:
• Regulations that impose significant administrative burdens such as paperwork and technical analysis have a significantly greater impact upon a small public gas system than upon a larger system serving hundreds of thousands or millions of customers and utilizing an in-house engineering staff with several hundred or even thousands of employees;
• In 2015, APGA polled nearly 600,000 randomly selected people in towns and cities served by public gas systems. Over 89 percent were aware they should call before digging. And nearly 96 percent believed that they have adequate information about natural gas safety such as how to recognize a leak and what they should do if they smell gas in the home;
• Over the past several years, the industry has had numerous additional requirements placed on it, such as, for example, the Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP), excess flow valves (EFVs), control room management, operator qualification, public awareness and more. Many APGA members are in the process of working to comply with the administrative burdens of these additional regulations and it will take time for all of the impacts of these already existing regulations to be fully understood; and
• APGA is strongly opposed to any changes in the current approach that would either shift the user fees collection point downstream to the LDCs and other pipeline customers or permit the pipelines to bypass the Natural Gas Act just and reasonable standard through a tracker mechanism.
Many of you provided input into the draft testimony that went out last week which resulted in a greatly improved final version. We want to thank you for your efforts! We will report back regarding any developments that may occur at the hearing.
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