Project is a rulemaking action taken by the Dept. of Conservation, DOGGR promulgating new or revised regulations creating a comprehensive regulatory framework tailored to the regulatory concerns specific to underground gas storage projects, including requirements for: 1) stricter well construction standards for gas storage wells; 2) rigorous testing and monitoring requirements; and 3) the development and maintenance of risk management plans.
Existing regulations UGS projects regulated as underground injection projects, under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program regulations (14 CCR 1724.6 - 1724.10); however, UGS projects have distinct concerns and practices that differ from UIC projects. Therefore, this rulemaking deletes 14 CCR 1724.9, and adds a new Article 4, entitled "Requirements for Underground Gas Storage Projects," consisting of new sections 1726, 1726.1, 1726.2, 1726.3, 1726.3.1, 1726.4, 1726.4.1, 1726.4.2, 1726.4.3, 1726.5, 1726.6, 1726.6.1, 1726.7, 1726.8, 1726.9, and 1726.10.
These amendments to existing regulations are necessary to implement Public Resources Code (PRC) sections 3180, 3181, 3182, and 3184, which were established under Senate Bill 887 (Pavely, Chapter 673, Statutes of 2016) (SB 887), effective January 1, 2017. SB 887 created new requirements for UGS facilities and required the Division of promulgate regulations that establish standards for the design, construction, and maintenance of all gas storage wells to ensure that integrity concerns with a gas storage well are identified and addressed before they become a threat to life, health, property, the climate, or natural resources. This rulemaking implements and responds to the mandate of SB 887, as wells as the Division's broader mandates under to PRC sections 3106 and 3403.5 to oversee UGS facilities to ensure that the original reserves are not lost, that drilling of new wells is conducted safely, and to minimize the risk of damage to public health and the environment.