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NARUC-DOE Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership
Releases New Educational Handbook
WASHINGTON (July 19, 2019) — The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has released a new educational handbook for state energy regulators through a natural gas partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy.
The cooperative effort began in 2016 when the DOE and NARUC formed the Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership, which convenes state regulators, federal agencies and other natural gas stakeholders to learn more about emerging technologies pertaining to the critically important issues around enhancing infrastructure and pipeline safety. This engagement includes discussions of natural gas pipeline leak detection and measurement tools, learning about new technologies and cost-effective practices for enhancing pipeline safety, reliability, efficiency and deliverability. The NGIMP is chaired by Commissioner Diane X. Burman, of the New York State Public Service Commission, who also chairs the NARUC Committee on Gas and sits on NARUC’s Board of Directors.
The Sampling of Methane Emissions Detection Technologies and Practices for Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure handbook is the latest product from NGIMP. This handbook summarizes why methane leaks occur in the context of the natural gas distribution network. The handbook then identifies existing and emerging leak detection technologies and practices, outlines partnerships to further the development of novel tools, and helps facilitate the exchange of information on these new and emerging technologies. Regulators can use the handbook to stay up to date on innovations associated with methane emissions detection technologies and best practices for natural gas distribution infrastructure.
“With regulation of natural gas shared among multiple levels of government, both federal and state officials have an interest in voluntarily collaborating to seek to continuously improve the safety and efficiency of the nation’s natural gas infrastructure,” said Burman. “To that end, this handbook was a natural work product in response to a number of emerging technologies and practices we were hearing about to detect and repair methane leaks in the distribution network that we wanted to facilitate sharing more broadly through an information exchange.”
The handbook also supports NARUC President Nick Wagner’s theme of “Leading the Way,” which is focused on ensuring that commissioners have the tools and resources to be effective regulators.
“The continued collaboration through NARUC’s natural gas partnership with U.S. Department of Energy is important for our states and members,” said Wagner. “I commend Commissioners Ethan Kimbrel and Jay Balasbas, working with Chair Burman, to ensure that NARUC is able to provide state energy regulators the information they need on leak detection technologies in the context of the natural gas distribution network. The research collected for this handbook is an impressive sampling of technology resources that can benefit the state regulatory community.”
The partnership is supported by the U.S. DOE through NARUC’s Center for Partnerships & Innovation. NARUC Staff Subcommittee Chair Andreas Thanos and CPI Senior Manager Kiera Zitelman provided substantive support to for this NGIMP project.
Sampling of Methane Emissions Detection Technologies and Practices for Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure is available at http://bit.ly/MethaneEmissionsDetectionHandbook.
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.