Bill Text: CA SB463 | 2019-2020 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Natural gas storage wells: monitoring and reporting.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-13 - Set for hearing April 9. [SB463 Detail]

Download: California-2019-SB463-Introduced.html


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 463


Introduced by Senator Stern

February 21, 2019


An act to amend Section 3183 of, and to add Sections 3181.5, 3186.1, and 3186.2 to, the Public Resources Code, relating to natural gas storage wells.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 463, as introduced, Stern. Natural gas storage wells: monitoring and reporting.
(1) 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 operator of a gas storage well, as defined, to submit a risk management plan to identify and plan for mitigation of all threats and hazards and potential threats and hazards associated with gas storage well operation in order to ensure internal and external mechanical integrity of a well, including site-specific information, as specified. Existing law provides that a person who fails to comply with these requirements and other laws relating to the regulation of oil or gas operations is guilty of a misdemeanor.
This bill would require the operator of a gas storage well to (A) include in its risk management plan a complete chemical inventory of the materials, of any phase, used on or in the gas storage wells for any purpose, (B) regularly quantify and report to the division the chemical composition of the gas, including trace impurities, stored in the gas storage well, based on a representative number of wells sampled, and (C) develop and implement a plan to, in the event of a leak, monitor emissions from the gas storage well and related equipment that is capable of quantifying the chemical composition of gas, and any suspended materials, released to the environment. Because a violation of these requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing law requires the division to determine by regulation what constitutes a reportable leak from a gas storage well and the timeframe for reporting those leaks, as specified. Until the regulations are in effect, existing law requires the operator to notify the division immediately of a leak of any size from a gas storage well, and requires the division to post information about a reported leak that cannot be controlled within 48 hours on its internet website, as prescribed. Existing law provides that a person who fails to comply with these requirements and other laws relating to the regulation of oil or gas operations is guilty of a misdemeanor.
This bill would require the operator, for any leak that is reportable pursuant to those provisions, to include in that report to the division the chemical composition of the leak, including all components of released material. Because a violation of this requirement would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the division to post the information received pursuant to these provisions on its internet website.
(3) 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) In October 2015, a gas storage well at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility failed and began to leak natural gas into the surrounding environment. The leak was not stopped until February 2016, resulting in the emission of over 100,000 tons of natural gas and other chemical species.
(b) Exposure to emissions from the gas storage facility during the leak resulted in a public health crisis with many people sickened and forcing thousands of people in the surrounding communities to relocate.
(c) All of the chemical species the surrounding communities were exposed to during the leak remain unknown.
(d) In its review of underground gas storage in this state, the California Council on Science and Technology made numerous recommendations to improve the oversight of these facilities. These include, among others, improved tracking and disclosure of the chemicals used in those facilities as well as the composition of the gas, including trace contaminants and components, in those facilities.
(e) Assessing the public health risks associated with an underground gas storage facility requires knowledge of all chemical species that the public, including sensitive subpopulations, may be exposed to.

SEC. 2.

 Section 3181.5 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

3181.5.
 The operator of a gas storage well shall include in its risk management plan required pursuant to Section 3181, a complete chemical inventory of the materials, of any phase, used on or in the gas storage wells for any purpose.

SEC. 3.

 Section 3183 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

3183.
 (a) The division, in consultation with the State Air Resources Board, shall determine and adopt by regulation what constitutes a reportable leak from a gas storage well and the timeframe for reporting that leak. The regulations shall require an operator to immediately report to the division a leak that poses a significant present or potential hazard to public health and safety, property, or to the environment.
(b) Until the regulations pursuant to subdivision (a) are in effect, a leak of any size from a gas storage well shall be deemed a reportable leak, and the operator shall notify the division immediately.
(c) If a leak from a gas storage well that is reported to the division pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), as applicable, cannot be controlled within 48 hours, the division shall post information about the leak on its Internet Web site internet website and provide regular updates to the public until the leak is stopped.
(d) (1) For any leak that is reportable pursuant to this section, or the implementing regulations, the operator shall include in that report to the division the chemical composition of the leak, including all components of released material.
(2) The division shall post the information received pursuant to paragraph (1) on its internet website.

SEC. 4.

 Section 3186.1 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

3186.1.
 The operator of a gas storage well shall regularly quantify and report to the division the chemical composition of the gas, including trace impurities, stored in the gas storage well, based on a representative number of wells sampled.

SEC. 5.

 Section 3186.2 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

3186.2.
 The operator of a gas storage well shall develop and implement a plan to, in the event of a leak, monitor emissions from the gas storage well and related equipment that is capable of quantifying the chemical composition of gas, and any suspended materials, released to the environment.

SEC. 6.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
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