(1) Under existing law, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources in the Department of Conservation regulates the drilling, operation, maintenance, and abandonment of oil and gas wells in the state. Existing law provides that a person who fails to comply with specific laws relating to the regulation of oil or gas operations is guilty of a misdemeanor. This bill would require the operator of a gas storage well, before January 1, 2018, to have commenced a mechanical integrity testing regime specified by the division and would require the division to promulgate regulations that establish standards for all gas storage wells, as specified. This bill would require the division to determine by regulation what constitutes a reportable leak from a gas storage well and the timeframe for reporting those leaks, as specified. Until the regulations are in effect, this bill would require the operator to notify the division immediately of a leak of any size from a gas storage well. This bill would require the division to post information about a reported leak that cannot be controlled within 48 hours on its Internet Web site, as prescribed. This bill would require the State Oil and Gas Supervisor, within 72 hours of being notified of a reportable leak, to determine if a relief well is necessary. If the supervisor makes that determination, whether within the first 72 hours or after, the bill would require the operator to immediately begin preparation for, and, as soon as practicable at the determination of the supervisor, commence the drilling of, a relief well. This bill would require an operator of a gas storage well to develop and maintain a comprehensive gas storage well training and mentoring program for those employees whose job duties involve the safety of operations and maintenance of gas storage wells and associated equipment, as specified. This bill would require certain materials, relating to wells serving or located in a natural gas storage facility, including, among others, a risk management plan, to be submitted by the operator and approved at the supervisor's discretion. This bill would require the division to perform unannounced random onsite inspections of some gas storage wells annually. This bill would require the State Air Resources Board, in consultation with any local air district and the division, to develop guidelines for a monitoring program that includes continuous monitoring of the ambient concentration of natural gas at sufficient locations throughout a natural gas storage facility or planned natural gas storage facility to identify natural gas leaks and the presence of natural gas emissions in the atmosphere. The bill would require an operator of a natural gas storage facility to develop and submit to the state board a facility monitoring plan that satisfies the program requirements, and would require the state board to review the plan and to either approve or disapprove the plan. This bill would require an operator of a natural gas storage facility to provide the monitoring data to the state board. This bill would require the state board or the division, as applicable, to post and make available on its respective Internet Web site all materials that are provided to the state board or division, as applicable, in order to comply with the provisions added by this act. Because a violation of these requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. (2) Existing law requires the operator of a well to file a written notice of intention to commence drilling with, and prohibits any drilling until approval is given by, the State Oil and Gas Supervisor or district deputy. Under existing law, the notice is deemed approved if the supervisor or district deputy fails to respond to the notice in writing within 10 working days from receipt and is deemed canceled if operations have not commenced within one year of receipt. Existing law provides that these provisions also apply to the deepening or redrilling of the well, any operation involving the plugging of the well, or any operations permanently altering in any manner the casing of the well. This bill would require the division, on a weekly basis, to post on its Internet Web site a list of the notices of intention received by the division, and to provide copies of those notices to the public upon request. (3) Under existing law, the State Oil and Gas Supervisor is required to impose an annual charge computed at a uniform rate based on the number of wells used to inject and withdraw gas from an underground storage facility during the preceding calendar year. Existing law requires the charge to defray the costs incurred by the state in maintaining surveillance over those facilities. This bill would instead require that annual charge to be the proportionate share of the total regulatory costs projected for each fiscal year based on the field capacity and number of wells of each underground gas storage facility, as specified. The bill would require an additional charge to be imposed on an operator, if an uncontrolled leak or release of gas occurs at the operator's underground gas storage facility, to defray the costs of the response effort of the division, as specified. (4) The Administrative Procedure Act governs the procedure for the adoption, amendment, or repeal of regulations by state agencies and for the review of those regulatory actions by the Office of Administrative Law. Existing law provides that, if a state agency makes a finding that the adoption of a regulation or order of repeal is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare, the regulation or order of repeal may be adopted as an emergency regulation or order of repeal. Under existing law, a regulation, amendment, or order of repeal adopted as an emergency regulation remains in effect no more than 180 days unless the adopting agency and the Office of Administrative Law comply with certain requirements. Until January 1, 2019, this bill would instead require that emergency regulations adopted by the division effective February 5, 2016, continue in effect until the adoption, amendment, or repeal of the regulation is promulgated by the division pursuant to the act. (5) Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including gas corporations. The Public Utilities Act prohibits any gas corporation from beginning the construction of, among other things, a line, plant, or system, or of any extension thereof, without having first obtained from the commission a certificate that the present or future public convenience and necessity require or will require that construction. This bill, if a new underground gas storage facility is proposed, would require the commission to ensure that a risk assessment evaluating the potential impact of a leak from the facility on public and environmental health, safety, and welfare is conducted by the project proponent, as specified. This bill would require that the findings of any risk assessment conducted pursuant to these provisions be subjected to peer review by independent experts and reported to the Legislature, as specified. (6) 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.
Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 673, Statutes of 2016.
Approved by the Governor.
Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 5 p.m.
Assembly amendments concurred in. (Ayes 36. Noes 2. Page 5444.) Ordered to engrossing and enrolling.
In Senate. Concurrence in Assembly amendments pending.
Read third time. Passed. (Ayes 75. Noes 1. Page 6240.) Ordered to the Senate.
Ordered to third reading.
Read third time and amended. (Ayes 73. Noes 0. Page 5973.)
Read second time. Ordered to third reading.
Read second time and amended. Ordered to second reading.
From committee: Do pass as amended. (Ayes 11. Noes 2.) (August 11).
August 3 set for first hearing. Placed on APPR. suspense file.
Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on APPR.
From committee: Do pass as amended and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 7. Noes 2.) (June 27).
In Assembly. Read first time. Held at Desk.
Read third time. Passed. (Ayes 30. Noes 9. Page 4091.) Ordered to the Assembly.
Read second time and amended. Ordered to third reading.
From committee: Do pass as amended. (Ayes 5. Noes 2. Page 3999.) (May 27).
Set for hearing May 27.
May 16 hearing: Placed on APPR. suspense file.
Set for hearing May 16.
Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on APPR.
From committee: Do pass as amended and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 6. Noes 1. Page 3642.) (April 20).
From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on E.Q. (Ayes 7. Noes 2. Page 3312.) (March 29). Re-referred to Com. on E.Q.
From committee with author's amendments. Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on N.R. & W.
Set for hearing March 29.
From printer. May be acted upon on or after February 20.
Introduced. Read first time. To Com. on RLS. for assignment. To print.
|Bill Text Versions||Format|
|01/20/16 - Introduced|
|03/28/16 - Amended Senate|
|04/26/16 - Amended Senate|
|05/31/16 - Amended Senate|
|06/30/16 - Amended Assembly|
|08/17/16 - Amended Assembly|
|08/19/16 - Amended Assembly|
|08/30/16 - Enrolled|
|09/26/16 - Chaptered|
|No related documents.|
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