Bill Text: CA AB1270 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Natural gas plants: methane monitoring systems and reporting.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-22 - Re-referred to Com. on NAT. RES. [AB1270 Detail]

Download: California-2021-AB1270-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 18, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1270


Introduced by Assembly Member Luz Rivas

February 19, 2021


An act relating to natural gas. to add Section 42705.7 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to air pollution.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1270, as amended, Luz Rivas. Natural gas: leaks. gas plants: methane monitoring systems and reporting.
Existing law generally designates air pollution control and air quality management districts with the primary responsibility for the control of air pollution from all sources other than vehicular sources. Existing law authorizes the State Air Resources Board or the air district to require the owner or the operator of an air pollution emission source to take any action that the state board or the air district determines to be reasonable for the determination of the amount of air pollution emissions from that source.
This bill would require an owner or operator of a natural gas plant, as defined, to develop, install, operate, and maintain, in accordance with guidance developed by the appropriate air district, a fence-line monitoring system, as defined, to measure and record methane concentrations at or adjacent to a natural gas plant. The bill would require the air district and the owner or operator of a natural gas plant to collect real-time data from these fence-line monitoring systems, provide that data to the public as quickly as possible in a publicly accessible format, and maintain records of that data. The bill would require an owner or operator of a natural gas plant to report methane concentrations readings that exceed background levels to the air district and would require the air district to report those readings to Members of the Legislature representing the district in which the natural gas plant is located. The bill would require the owner or operator of a natural gas plant to be responsible for the costs associated with the fence-line monitoring system. By adding to the duties of local air districts, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Under existing law, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources in the Department of Conservation regulates the drilling, operation, maintenance, and abandonment of oil and gas wells in the state. Existing law requires the division, in consultation with the State Air Resources Board, to determine and adopt by regulation what constitutes a reportable leak from a gas storage well and the timeframe for reporting that leak. Existing law requires the division, if a leak from a gas storage well cannot be controlled within 48 hours, to post information about the leak on its internet website and provide regular updates to the public until the leak is stopped.

This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to require pipeline operators, storage facilities, and production facilities to report natural gas leaks to the State Air Resources Board and for the public to be notified.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 42705.7 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

42705.7.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following definitions:
(1) “Fence-line monitoring system” means equipment that measures and records methane concentrations at or adjacent to a natural gas plant and that may be useful for detecting or estimating the quantity of fugitive methane emissions or leaks from the natural gas plant.
(2) “Natural gas plant” means any electrical generating facility using natural gas as its primary source of energy, with a generating capacity of 50 megawatts or more.
(b) (1) The owner or operator of a natural gas plant shall develop, install, operate, and maintain a fence-line monitoring system in accordance with guidance developed by the appropriate district.
(2) Guidance developed by a district pursuant to this subdivision shall take into account technological capabilities and incorporate input from affected parties.
(c) The district and the owner or operator of a natural gas plant shall collect real-time data from a fence-line monitoring system and shall maintain records of that data. To the extent feasible, the data generated by a fence-line monitoring system shall be provided to the public as quickly as possible in a publicly accessible format.
(d) (1) An owner or operator of a natural gas plant that records methane concentration readings from a fence-line monitoring system that exceed background levels shall report this information to the district.
(2) A district that receives information from an owner or operator of a natural gas plant pursuant to paragraph (1) shall report that information to the Members of the Legislature representing the district in which the natural gas plant is located.
(e) The owner or operator of a natural gas plant shall be responsible for the costs associated with implementing this section.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.
SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to require pipeline operators, storage facilities, and production facilities to report natural gas leaks to the State Air Resources Board and for the public to be notified.

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