Image courtesy of Vicki Watkins/Flickr.

A California law designed to reduce methane emission from intrastate natural gas pipelines and local distribution systems and tighten regulatory oversight is on its way to governor Jerry Brown’s desk for final action.

The bill, SB 1371, was approved by 23 to 11 votes on August 27 and was passed by the state’s assembly a day earlier by 57 to 20 votes.

The measure would implement stricter reporting requirements for instate gas pipeline and local distribution companies in California.

The measure requires every company to immediately file a summary of utility leak management practices, list 2013 methane leaks by grade, list open leaks that are being monitored or are scheduled for repair and report a best estimate of gas loss due to leaks, Oil and Gas Journal said.

The bill would also increase regulatory scrutiny of safety and repair procedures.

The bill also calls for the establishment and required use of best practices for leak survey, prevention and reduction.

Metrics to quantify the volume of emissions from leaking gas lines as well as for evaluating and tracking leaks geographically would also be implemented.

Development of the new rules will be handled by California’s Public Utilities Commission in consultation with the state’s Air Resources Board and will start by January 15, 2015.

There are more than 100,000 miles of gas pipes and other fuel delivery equipment in California.


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