USDOT requests public comment on underground gas storage facilities fee rate structure

Published on November 14, 2016 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is requesting public comment on a proposed fee rate structure to fund an $8 million Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility Safety Account.

In a notice released on Monday, USDOT stated that public input could be submitted within 60 days of the notice’s publication, inviting feedback on a pipeline user fee assessment developed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) as required by the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act). The act further authorized PHMSA to impose user fees specific to underground gas storage facilities. The proposed fee assessment would follow a tiered structure, requiring larger payments from larger operators, similar to the fee rate structure for Liquefied Natural Gas plants.

“The safety of Underground Natural Gas Storage facilities is one of PHMSA’s top priorities, and this proposed fee structure – in conjunction with a forthcoming interim final rule for these facilities – will provides a consistent and sustainable safety framework for both interstate and intrastate facilities,” PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez said.

There are currently 411 underground natural gas storage sites in the U.S., with more than four trillion cubic feet of working gas capacity.