(WASHINGTON, D.C.)– Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) introduced legislation on Tuesday that would create federal guidelines for natural gas storage facilities across the United States.
H.R. 4429, the Natural Gas Leak Prevention Act, would require the Secretary of Transportation to issue adequate safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities, with the goal of preventing gas leaks similar to the one that occurred at the Aliso Canyon facility near Porter Ranch last October. This is the latest action in Rep. Knight’s response to the Porter Ranch gas leak, which caused methane gas to escape into the nearby communities, forcing many residents from their schools, businesses and homes.
“My priorities in Porter Ranch have been and will continue to be providing residents with up to date information as well as assistance on relocation and reimbursements,” said Rep. Knight. “But as we approach a resolution on the leak, it is time to move forward on comprehensive legislation to prevent another incident from happening in our communities ever again.”
In developing the Natural Gas Leak Prevention Act, Rep. Knight says he was careful to gather all the information possible to ensure that it would be effective and could move through the legislative process successfully. He spoke with a variety of experts on the issue, including Senator Deb Fischer from Nebraska, who passed similar legislation in the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee last December, and Representative Jeff Denham (CA-10) chairman of the Subcommittee on Railways, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. He has also been in communication with officials from relevant federal and state agencies and toured two local natural gas storage facilities: Aliso Canyon and Honor Rancho, which is located in Valencia.
“I appreciate Congressman Knight’s leadership on this important issue for Porter Ranch and all communities near natural gas storage facilities,” said Rep. Jeff Denham. “Pipeline safety continues to be a top priority of the committee and I look forward to working with Rep. Knight to move this bill forward.”
Rep. Knight says H.R. 4429 is designed to complement regulations on underground gas storage at the state level, including S.B. 380, a pipeline safety bill co-sponsored by Assemblyman Scott Wilk that passed the California State Senate last week. The Natural Gas Leak Prevention Act is expected to be considered in the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure later this month.
“This legislation is the type of thoughtful and thorough action that is needed to ensure the people of Porter Ranch never have to suffer through another gas leak and to protect communities across the country from similar incidents,” continued Rep. Knight.