Blogs

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APGA hosted a webinar on July 18 regarding the International Code Council (ICC) Code Development Process, and a video recording of the webinar has been added to www.apga.org/webinars for members to view. As in the past, APGA is collaborating with the American Gas Association (AGA), the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), and the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) on throughout the I-Code development cycle. On July 24th, public comments will be due for ICC Group B Codes, which includes the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and International Green Construction Code (IgCC), so be on the lookout for further ways APGA members can engage. ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, July 18, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, July 12. A 62 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,533 Bcf as of Friday, July 12, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 62 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 291 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 143 Bcf below the five-year average of 2,676 Bcf. At 2,533 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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We are excited to announce new features on the APGA Community! As the digital landscape constantly evolves, we aim to keep improving the user experience on community.apga.org for our members. New features include: • Upgrades to reply options and message editor; • Posts are now auto-saved so you will not lose your message if your browser quits unexpectedly; • You can now follow discussions to receive a real-time email notification when there is a new reply; and, • View a list of posts, blogs, and files that you follow. View this blog to view step by step instructions about each of the new features! For questions, please contact Marghet Hager at mhager@apga.org ...
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Last year, APGA launched the Gas Industry Events Calendar ( GasCalendar.com ) in coordination with Ed Young Sales Company (EYSCO) as a comprehensive online listing of events for the natural gas industry. APGA is pleased to announce enhancements to the GasCalendar.com site. New features include: • Ability to search the online calendar of events; • Ability to expand events to view more detail; and, • Event display upgrades to help visitors find the most up-to-date information. Visit GasCalendar.com to check out the new features as you search for upcoming natural gas events! For questions, please contact Marghet Hager at mhager@apga.org .
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On July 11, APGA hosted a webinar to summarize the results of a sponsored study summarizing national model code requirements that may be problematic for direct use of natural gas in member jurisdictions. The study also proposes priorities of these requirements, initial views on options and alternatives that might be pursued through state and local amendments, and suggestions of potential allies for implementing the amendments. Model codes that were discussed come from the International Code Council (ICC), International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAMPO), and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) ...
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Late in the week of July 10, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) submitted comments on important pipeline safety rulemaking changes in the state of Iowa. The input provided related to the Iowa Utility Board’s (IUB) unique definition of “distribution center,” which is an undefined term from the federal pipeline safety regulations’ definition of “transmission line.” Each state defines as appropriate “distribution center,” but unfortunately, IUB’s perception requires APGA members in that state to comply with transmission line regulations related to passage of internal inspection devices, or “smart pigs,” as well as written integrity management plans (IMP). ...
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APGA Supports SMTI

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On July 15, APGA sent a letter to the Department of Energy (DOE), supporting Stone Mountain Technologies’ (SMTI) funding application to build and demonstrate a heat pump tailored for commercial water heating and simultaneous space cooling. The product to be developed will be applicable to a wide variety of buildings that simultaneously require hot water and space-cooling, including restaurants, hotels, college and military dormitories, and correctional facilities in all climates. Initial estimates expect two to three-year paybacks for building owners, which bodes well for rapid market acceptance, as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment ...
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In mid-July, Bert Kalisch addressed the 2019 Mississippi Natural Gas Association’s (MNGA) Annual Conference in Orange Beach, Ala. In his presentation, Bert highlighted APGA’s advocacy issues and promotional activities including operations and safety, pipeline safety reauthorization, direct use, and the new Natural Gas Genius campaign. Bert highlighted for MNGA the recent U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) notice of a proposed interpretive rule requested by APGA and other gas industry stakeholders that would save consumers from the costs of unnecessary and burdensome overregulation and provide greater customer choice. He articulated why DOE’s proposal to appropriately ...
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The APGA Operations and Safety Committee selected Greenville Utilities Commission (GUC) as the winner of the 2019 APGA Safety Management Excellence Award. This award recognizes one APGA member each year for consistently operating at the highest levels, clearly establishing itself as an achiever of excellence in the field of safety management. The committee looks for systems that have implemented innovative and effective employee safety practices. Safety is the highest priority in public gas systems, and it is always difficult to single out one system among all the deserving applicants. GUC will be presented with a plaque at the APGA Annual Meeting in Stowe, Vt. ...
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On July 2, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a proposed interpretive rule in response to a petition submitted to DOE by APGA and other gas industry stakeholders. The petition, submitted last June, requested a legal interpretation that the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) does not authorize the adoption of efficiency standards that would limit the market for fuel gas vented appliances or equipment to condensing products. In its proposed interpretive rule, DOE “partially grants the petition by issuing an interpretation that non-condensing operation is a product feature and that no DOE rulemaking may prescribe a standard that would make that feature ...
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Congressional Overview

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Several efforts on Capitol Hill have occurred to complete legislation reauthorizing the Pipeline Safety Office within the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), including hearings by the committees with jurisdiction over the agency and discussion drafts released. However, more is still to come. Subcommittees in the Senate Commerce Committee, as well as the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, are expected to publish bills, and then, all these stakeholders will engage in getting one bill to pass Congress and sent to the President. With a reauthorization due date of September 30 and August recess, there are a few working days ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, July 11, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, July 5. An 81 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,471 Bcf as of Friday, July 5, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 81 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 275 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 142 Bcf below the five-year average of 2,613 Bcf. At 2,471 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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We are excited to announce new community features on www.apga.com: new reply options, new reply notifications, list of followed posts, blogs, and files, save a post as a draft, and scheduled posts. Updated Reply & Content Editor Options To make it more intuitive for users to reply to threads online, we have renamed the options 'Reply Inline' and 'Reply to Discussion' to simply be 'Reply' to reply to another member's post on the community. To send a private message to another community member's inbox about that topic, that option has been renamed from 'Reply to Sender' to 'Reply Privately'. When you click REPLY, you ...
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On June 26, the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy held a mark-up on the Safer Pipelines Act of 2019 (H.R. 3432). There were several amendments offered, but none were adopted. However, through this, the Republicans were able to express concern over the legislation removing the cost-benefit provision within the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) rulemaking process, as well as allowing for mandamus lawsuits, or the ability to “sue and settle.” Congressman Kennedy, from Massachusetts, also submitted an amendment that was withdrawn to include the provisions from the Leonel Rondon Act , which is the bill Senator Markey ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, June 27, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, June 21. A 98 Bcf increase has been reported. Working gas in storage was 2,301 Bcf as of Friday, June 21, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 98 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 236 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 171 Bcf below the five-year average of 2,472 Bcf. At 2,301 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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APGA is excited to announce our partnership with Grupio to provide you with a unique mobile experience at the 2019 APGA Annual Conference. Download the 2019 APGA Annual Conference mobile app and access the schedule, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, hotel floor plans and more from the convenience of your phone or tablet. You can also create a list of favorite sessions that you are looking forward to attending at the 2019 APGA Annual Conference and download them onto your device’s calendar. Networking has never been this easy. From within the app, find other attendees and private messages with them! Also in order to protect our members’ contact information and ...
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On June 25-26, the Technical Pipeline Safety Standards Committee (TPSSC) met in Washington, D.C., to continue its review of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) proposed changes to gathering line regulations. The TPSSC is a congressionally-mandated peer review committee composed of industry, government and public pipeline safety experts that advises whether PHMSA’s rules are reasonable, practicable, technically feasible and cost-effective. Rich Worsinger of Rocky Mount, N.C., represents public gas on this committee. The proposed gathering line rule would subject some gathering lines that are currently not regulated by federal ...
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In mid-June, Bert Kalisch, APGA President and CEO, addressed the 2019 Tennessee Gas Association’s (TGA) Annual Conference in Destin, Fla. In his presentation, Bert highlighted APGA’s advocacy issues and promotional activities including operations & safety, pipeline safety reauthorization, direct use, and the new Natural Gas Genius campaign. Also addressing the general session of TGA’s Annual Conference was APGA Board of Director member John Olshefski, who is Senior Vice President of Customer Care for Huntsville Utilities. John spoke on leadership, and shared his personal experiences as a Citadel graduate, retired colonel in the U.S. Army, and currently as ...
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The State of Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury has approved the 2019 APGA Annual Conference, which will be held July 28-31 in Stowe, Vt., for six hours of Utility Commissioner Training Credits as required under Tennessee law. By way of background, the State of Tennessee recently passed legislation that requires utility board members to receive 12 hours of training with the first 12 months of their initial election/appointment (or re-election/reappointment) and 12 hours every three years thereafter. The subjects for training include board governance, financial oversight, policymaking responsibilities, and other topics reasonably related to a board member’s ...
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On June 20, Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur announced through Twitter that she will be leaving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) at the end of August and the July Open Meeting will be her last Commission Open Meeting. Commissioner LaFleur was first nominated by President Obama to FERC in 2010 and was confirmed for a second term by the Senate in 2014. She served as Acting Chairman of the Commission from November 2013 to July 2014 and January to August 2017 and as Chairman from July 2014 until April 2015. APGA leadership meets with the FERC Commissioners twice a year as a means to communicate information and positions on federal regulatory matters of ...
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