Author Archives: Adam Peltz

The secret sauce for preventing another Aliso Canyon-sized gas leak in California

More than a year and a half after the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility caused more than 100,000 tons of methane to leak into the atmosphere – amounting to be our nation’s largest-ever gas leak,  California regulators continue to labor away at improving the rules  that could prevent another gas storage disaster.

That leak was a wake up call to regulators around the country charged with protecting workers, people and the environment from gas storage facility accidents.   Read More »

Posted in Aliso Canyon, California, Natural Gas| Comments are closed

New app lets users see how close they are to an oil or gas well

Across the U.S. more than 15 million people live within a mile of an oil or gas well – and a new app is making it easier for those people to know exactly where those wells are located within their neighborhoods.

The WellFinder app uses data from state agencies to help users know not only the exact location of these wells, but also how old they are, who operates them, whether they are still active, what type of well it is (i.e. oil, gas, injection) and who to call if something doesn’t appear to be functioning properly.

Companies and regulators often find out about water contamination and air pollution from the people who live near these facilities.  With this kind of transparent data now at our fingertips, communities can keep a more watchful eye on oil and gas operations – ultimately enhancing the environmental performance of the industry. Read More »

Posted in Data Access, Natural Gas| Comments are closed

A cheat sheet for preventing catastrophe at gas storage sites

Today, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Ground Water Protection Council published a new report entitled “Underground Gas Storage Regulatory Considerations: A Guide for State and Federal Regulatory Agencies.” Like the title says, the report helps regulators make decisions that will ultimately make gas storage facilities across the country safer and more secure.

Gas storage reached many Americans’ attention in the aftermath of the major leak at the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility, which forced thousands of families to evacuate their homes after a massive leak caused more than 100,000 tons of methane to escape into the air.

Read More »

Posted in Aliso Canyon, California, Climate, Energy Storage, Methane, Natural Gas| Comments are closed

Looking to the States to Improve Natural Gas Storage Policies

Stories about gas storage rarely make headlines, but the fact is there are hundreds of underground natural gas storage facilities peppered across the country, and when something goes wrong, the impacts can be devastating. For example, in 2015 a leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility in Southern California ended up displacing thousands from their homes and was considered one of the biggest environmental disasters in modern U.S. history.

Historically, state agencies have been responsible for regulating these facilities – resulting in a patchwork of protections. But after Aliso Canyon, the federal government stepped in to provide uniform safety standards applicable across the country. Read More »

Posted in General| Tagged | Comments are closed

A Handy Checklist for Regulators on Well Integrity

20141118_132328After several years of collaboration among regulatory experts from across the country, the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC), recently published a set of 136 “Regulatory Elements” intended to provide regulators with ideas to consider when improving oversight of the permitting, construction, operation and plugging of oil and gas wells.

This may sound dry, but regulations addressing these elements are what keep oil and gas wells from blowing up during drilling or later leaking methane, oil, saltwater, hydraulic fracturing fluid, and other contaminants into air or groundwater.

With over 15 million Americans living within a mile of a well, strong rules on well integrity covering the wide variety of topics addressed in these elements make a huge difference to human health and the environment. Read More »

Posted in Natural Gas| Tagged | Comments are closed

Smart Policies to Stop Disastrous Natural Gas Leaks

rp_AlisoCanyon4-300x209-1-300x209-300x209.jpg

Infrared footage reveals massive methane emissions from a gas storage facility in California's Aliso Canyon

Last fall, a massive leak from a natural gas storage facility in California’s Aliso Canyon released nearly 100,000 tons of methane pollution into the atmosphere — the largest uncombusted release of this potent greenhouse gas in U.S. history, and seen by many as the industry’s worst environmental disaster since the BP oil spill.

Facilities like Aliso Canyon inject gas pumped in from elsewhere and withdraw it when needed for electric production or heating. Aliso Canyon is the largest field of its kind west of the Mississippi River. There are around 400 such facilities across the U.S., about 14 in California. Until recently, regulatory oversight of these facilities has been uneven at best.

The exact cause of the Aliso Canyon incident is still being investigated, but all signs point to a problem in the aging, corroded casing of one of over a hundred individual wells at the sprawling site. Neither the utility’s maintenance programs nor the state’s lax enforcement of 1980s-era policies were sufficient to prevent this disaster. But now that’s about to change. Read More »

Posted in Aliso Canyon, California, Climate, Methane, Natural Gas| Tagged , | Comments are closed
  • About this Blog

    EDF Energy Exchange - Accelerating the clean energy revolution

    EDF's energy experts discuss how to accelerate the transition to a clean, low-carbon energy economy.

    Follow EDFEnergyEX

  • Get new posts by email

    We'll deliver new blog posts to your inbox.

    Subscribe via RSS

  • Categories

  • Authors