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NARUC Appoints New Members to DOE Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership
WASHINGTON—The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has appointed new members to its natural gas partnership program with the U.S. Department of Energy.
When the NARUC-DOE Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership was established in 2016, its membership was assigned two primary goals. The first is to facilitate the exchange of information on emerging technologies and investments in natural gas infrastructure modernization. The second goal is to serve as a repository of information on the pipeline replacement and expansion mechanisms available to distribution networks.
Known as NGIMP, the cooperative effort convenes state regulators, federal agencies and other natural gas stakeholders to discuss natural gas pipeline leak detection and measurement tools and identify new technologies and cost-effective practices for enhancing pipeline safety, efficiency and deliverability.
”The work being undertaken by this partnership is of critical importance for our states,” said NARUC President John Betkoski III. “We are actively engaged in ensuring that our regulators are capturing the information they need and that NARUC produces research papers focused on leak detection technologies and current state policies in place to incentivize replacement of our aging gas infrastructure.”
NGIMP is chaired by Commissioner Diane X. Burman, of the New York State Public Service Commission, who also chairs the NARUC Committee on Gas. Burman is looking forward to a host of partnership activities in the coming year, such as site visits, publication of white papers and other educational engagements (e.g., webinars and conference calls).
“The site visits will offer commissioners the opportunity to stay up-to-date on innovations associated with mobile gas leak detection systems, remote emissions monitoring and other emerging technologies,” said Burman. “We have an excellent, committed team of commissioners and stakeholders and I am very excited to work alongside our new members of the partnership. Our progress to-date has been made possible through our collective efforts. I would be remiss if I did not recognize the leadership support from the Committee on Gas Co-Vice Chair Brandon Presley, of the Mississippi PSC, who will facilitate the key 2018 white paper initiatives.”
The following commissioners have been appointed to the partnership:
Jay Balasbas, Washington; Gladys Brown, Pennsylvania; Julie Brown, Florida; Maida Coleman, Missouri; D. Ethan Kimbrel, Illinois; Thad LeVar, Utah; Angela O’Connor, Massachusetts; Kim O’Guinn, Arkansas; Brandon Presley, Mississippi; Tricia Pridemore, Georgia; Norman J. Saari, Michigan; Katie Sieben, Minnesota; Dianne Solomon, New Jersey; and Nick Wagner, Iowa.
Existing members who will continue contributing to NGIMP include Committee on Gas Co-Vice Chair Julie Fedorchak, North Dakota; Kara Brighton Fornstrom, Wyoming; and Swain Whitfield, South Carolina.
The partnership is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through the NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation, with Senior Program Officer Kiera Zitelman serving as the primary coordinator and point of contact.
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.