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Knight's Natural Gas Storage Safety Measure Passes Key Committee

Legislative To Prevent Future Gas Leaks Nears Passage in House

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Washington, April 20, 2016 | Daniel Outlaw (202-225-1956) | comments
Representative Steve Knight is one step closer to passing legislation to prevent future Aliso Canyon-style gas leaks after a House committee passed his natural gas storage safety measure on Wednesday morning.
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Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) is one step closer to passing legislation to prevent future Aliso Canyon-style gas leaks after a House committee passed his natural gas storage safety measure on Wednesday morning.

Last February, Rep. Knight introduced H.R. 4429, the Natural Gas Leak Prevention Act, which would require the Secretary of Transportation to issue adequate safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities. The legislation aims to prevent gas leaks similar to the one that forced many residents of Porter Ranch and the surrounding areas from their schools, businesses and homes last October. Last week Rep. Jeff Denham, (CA-10), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railways, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, introduced a bipartisan bill that includes most of the language in H.R. 4429, and on Wednesday the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure passed the bill.

 “The Porter Ranch gas leak may be sealed, but the community is still suffering from its effects in the form of lingering relocation costs and possible blackouts this summer,” said Rep. Knight. “I am pleased that my colleagues in Congress are joining me to advance comprehensive legislation to prevent another incident from happening again.”

Chairman Denham’s bill, called the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016, is a four-year reauthorization that improves pipeline safety by closing gaps in federal standards and providing regulatory certainty. Rep. Knight fought to add the Natural Gas Leak Prevention Act to the bill, identifying it as the best vehicle for his measure to pass the House.

“The PIPES Act will help create the safest pipeline system in history by closing gaps in federal standards and improving our ability to make effective safety rules,” said Rep. Denham. "I appreciate Congressman Knight’s efforts to ensure safety for natural gas storage facilities, and I look forward to working with him to move this bill forward."

In January Rep. Knight invited Chairman Denham to tour the Aliso Canyon site in order to give him first-hand information and perspective about the leak and its causes. Prior to that, Knight testified to the Pipeline Subcommittee on behalf of his constituents in Porter Ranch who were affected by the leak and those in Santa Clarita who live in close proximity to the smaller but similar Honor Rancho storage facility.

The PIPES Act, along with Knight’s natural gas storage safety measure, passed the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Wednesday with unanimous support. It now awaits consideration on the House floor. 

 
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