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AB-1905 Natural gas injection and storage: study.(2015-2016)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  April 07, 2016

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1905


Introduced by Assembly Member Wilk

February 11, 2016


An act to add Section 3270.7 to the Public Resources Code, relating to oil and gas, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1905, as amended, Wilk. Natural gas injection and storage: study.
Under existing law, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources in the Department of Conservation regulates the drilling, operation, maintenance, stimulation, and abandonment of oil and gas wells in the state. Existing law requires the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to complete an independent scientific study on well stimulation treatments, as specified.
The bill would require the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, on or before July 1, 2017, to cause to be conducted, and completed, an independent scientific study on natural gas injection and storage practices and facilities, as specified.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 3270.7 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

3270.7.
 On or before July 1, 2017, the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency shall cause to be conducted, and completed, an independent scientific study on natural gas injection and storage practices and facilities. The scientific study shall evaluate the hazards and risks and potential hazards and risks that natural gas injection and storage pose to natural resources and public, occupational, and environmental health and safety. The scientific study shall do all of the following:
(a) Follow the well-established standard protocols of the scientific profession, including, but not limited to, the use of recognized experts, peer review, and publication.
(b) (1) Identify and evaluate natural gas storage injection well construction standards and operation techniques for both existing natural gas storage injection wells and for newly drilled natural gas storage injection wells.
(2) Determine the average age of injection wells at gas storage facilities in the state and evaluate whether the construction standards used in aging wells are adequate to continue to protect public natural resources and public, occupational, and environmental health and safety.
(c) Identify the proximity of existing natural gas storage facilities in the state to population centers residential development and the risks posed by those facilities to nearby populations. residential development.
(d) (1) Identify the chemicals currently used as odorants at natural gas storage facilities in the state and the public health and environmental risks posed by those odorants.
(2) Evaluate potential alternatives to the odorants currently in use to determine if there are any feasible alternative odorants that pose a lower risk to public and environmental health.
(e) Evaluate the current state regulatory structure for natural gas injection and storage facilities and recommend measures that would better protect public natural resources and public, occupational, and environmental health and safety while still maintaining energy reliability.
(f) Clearly identify where additional information is necessary to inform and improve the analyses.

SEC. 2.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
Due to a currently ongoing leak of primarily methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from the Southern California Gas Company Aliso Canyon SS-25 well that began on October 23, 2015, the unknown effects on the community of and surrounding Porter Ranch must be studied at the earliest possible time, independent from Southern California Gas Company and in order to prevent future harm from similar events, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.