DOE and PHMSA form new Interagency Task Force
Two large government agencies recently joined forces and announced the formation of a new Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety.
Department of Energy (DOE) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the Department of Transportation formally announced the launch of the Task Force, which will have one key goal: Ensure the safe storage of natural gas across the U.S.
— Energy Department (@ENERGY) April 1, 2016
Education and testing
The Interagency Task Force plans to increase the safety of natural gas storage through two main methods: holding workshops and urging more inspections of gas wells.
The DOE will hold workshops that will focus on topics ranging from ensuring well integrity, to formulating proper response plans, to assessing potential vulnerabilities, and other "best practices" type of sessions.
Regarding safety inspections of gas wells, the PHSMA recently proposed new regulations for natural gas transmission pipelines. Through the new regulations, the PHSMA hopes to broaden the scope of safety coverage for natural gas transmission throughout the U.S.
Aliso Canyon, CA
The recent, massive natural gas leak in California undoubtedly played a role in the newfound focus on natural gas pipeline safety in the U.S. That gas leak, which occurred in Aliso Canyon, dragged on for months and was reportedly the second largest leak of its kind in the history of the U.S.