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AB-491 Energy: hydrogen.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/10/2019 09:00 PM
AB491:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 10, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 491


Introduced by Assembly Member Blanca Rubio
(Coauthors: Assembly Members O’Donnell and Quirk)

February 12, 2019


An act to add Section 784.5 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to energy.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 491, as amended, Blanca Rubio. Energy: hydrogen.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has regulatory authority over public utilities, including gas corporations. Existing law authorizes the commission PUC to fix the rates and charges for every public utility and requires that those rates and charges be just and reasonable. The California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program requires the commission PUC to adopt policies and programs that promote the in-state production and distribution of biomethane. Existing law requires the commission PUC to adopt, by rule or order, standards for biomethane that specify the concentrations of constituents of concern that are reasonably necessary to protect public health and ensure pipeline integrity and safety, and that specify requirements for monitoring, testing, reporting, and recordkeeping. Existing law requires a gas corporation to comply with those standards and requirements and requires that gas corporation tariffs condition access to common carrier pipelines on the applicable customer meeting those standards and requirements.
Existing law requests the California Council on Science and Technology to undertake and complete a study analyzing the regional and gas-corporation-specific issues relating to minimum heating value and maximum siloxane specifications adopted by the commission PUC for biomethane before it can be injected into common carrier gas pipelines. If the California Council on Science and Technology agrees to undertake and complete the study, existing law requires the commission, PUC, within 6 months of its completion, to reevaluate requirements and standards adopted for injection of biomethane into common carrier pipelines and, if appropriate, change those requirements and standards or adopt new requirements and standards, giving due deference to the conclusions and recommendations made in the study.
This bill would request the California Council on Science and Technology Technology, in consultation with the PUC, the State Air Resources Board (state board), and the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Energy Commission), to undertake and, within 12 months of entering into the contract, to complete a study analyzing the potential impacts of increased hydrogen concentration in the natural gas supply on the California natural gas system, to include specified information. If the California Council on Science and Technology agrees to undertake and complete the study, the bill would require the commission, within 6 months after completion of the study, to adopt standards for hydrogen from specified sources to be injected into a common carrier pipeline, taking the study into consideration, while ensuring pipeline and pipeline facility integrity and safety. The bill would require each gas corporation operating common carrier pipelines in California to proportionately contribute to the expenses to undertake the study, with the cost recoverable in rates. council, upon completion of the study, to transmit it to the PUC, the state board, and the Energy Commission for their consideration. The bill would require each gas corporation operating common carrier pipelines to proportionately contribute to the expenses to undertake the study, with the cost recoverable in rates.
Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.
Because the provisions of this bill would be a part of the act and because a violation of an order or decision of the commission implementing its requirements would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program by creating a new crime.
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.

 Section 784.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

784.5.
 (a) The Legislature requests that the California Council on Science and Technology Technology, in consultation with the commission, the State Air Resources Board, and the Energy Commission, undertake and, within 12 months of entering into the contract, complete a study analyzing the potential impacts of increased hydrogen concentration in the natural gas supply on the California natural gas system. The study shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(1) A risk assessment, including assessing the safety concerns associated with blending hydrogen into the throughput of the existing natural gas pipeline system at percentages up to 20 percent.
(2) A determination of the maximum hydrogen percentage blended into the throughput of the natural gas pipeline system at which no or minor modifications would be needed for natural gas infrastructure and end-use systems, and an assessment of the types of modifications that may be required for higher percentages of hydrogen.
(3) An assessment of the impacts, including degradation, on durability of the existing natural gas pipeline system associated with exposure to hydrogen over long periods, particularly with hydrogen in high concentrations and at high pressures.
(4) An assessment of any impacts of hydrogen on natural gas pipeline leakage rates.
(5) An assessment of any impact on valves, fittings, materials, and welds due to hydrogen embrittlement, including, but not limited to, at low concentrations and low pressures.
(6) An assessment of any impact of hydrogen on the permeability of storage rock and of the compatibility of the full range of hydrogen blend percentages on storage infrastructure.
(7) An assessment of any impact on pipelines under cathodic protection due to potential for hydrogen dissociation.
(8) A survey and analysis of international hydrogen blending and injection studies, activities, and regulations.
(9) An assessment of cost estimates for various methods of hydrogen production and transportation.
(b) If the California Council on Science and Technology agrees to undertake and complete the study pursuant to subdivision (a), within six months after completion of the study, the commission shall, by rule or order, adopt standards for hydrogen to be injected into a common carrier pipeline, taking into consideration the California Council on Science and Technology study, while ensuring pipeline and pipeline facility integrity and safety. the California Council on Science and Technology shall, upon completion of the study, transmit it to the commission, the State Air Resources Board, and the Energy Commission for their consideration.
(c) For purposes of this section, sources of hydrogen are limited to the following:
(1) Zero-carbon hydrogen. For this purpose, “zero-carbon hydrogen” means hydrogen that is produced without increasing emissions of greenhouse gases and in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order B-55-18 to Achieve Carbon Neutrality (September 10, 2018).
(2) Hydrogen that is produced from renewable resources.
(3) Hydrogen that is produced from other methods or other feedstocks as determined by the commission, in consultation with the State Air Resources Board.
(d) Each gas corporation operating common carrier pipelines in California shall proportionately contribute to the expenses to undertake the study, with the cost recoverable in rates.

SEC. 2.

 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.