A national Natural Gas Storage Work Group led by states from across the country, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) and Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) announced today that it has begun collecting pertinent information from participating states to proactively aid in progressing state natural gas storage programs and addressing regulatory challenges.
The work group, which was formed last month, is an example of states working together to address common issues.
The responsibility for enforcing the safety of storage facilities rests with state oil and gas agencies. Because each state varies in geology and geography, database management systems differ from state to state to collect relevant information for public safety and environmental protection. As such, many states have adopted their own rules and regulations regarding the safe and reliable operation of underground natural gas storage facilities, and the gathering of information should remain within the states in order to continue ongoing regulatory improvement to state-specific needs.
“The underground storage of natural gas is a vital process to ensure efficient development and production of domestic natural gas resources,” said work group spokesman Hal Fitch, director, Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. “We are excited about this work group and, once again, bringing states together to prove the efficiency and effectiveness of state regulatory oversight.”
The states will review the data collected in order to: proactively address natural gas storage facilities and state regulations, complement the differing databases to the greatest extent possible, and recognize aging infrastructure concerns, while identifying technological advancements and establishing proper and consistent operating procedures.
The work group will provide an update on data collected and the future direction of the group at the IOGCC Annual Business Meeting in Denver, Colorado this May. Those interested can view the agenda on the IOGCC Web site: iogcc.ok.gov/denver.
This effort has been coordinated through the StatesFirst Initiative, led by IOGCC and GWPC, which has organized a work group consisting primarily of state regulators from across the country and will include technical advisory experts from academia, industry, non-profit organizations and federal agencies.
States First is a STATE led effort. Governors, regulators, and policy leaders from oil and gas producing states across the country have partnered with the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and Ground Water Protection Council in this endeavor.
The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission is a multi-state government organization with a mission to conserve and maximize domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. The Ground Water Protection Council is a national association of state water-protection officials.