Blogs

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On March 21, APGA will participate in a Department of Energy (DOE) Public Meeting on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) to streamline and modernize the Process Rule. The Process Rule addresses the procedures and policies that guide DOE in establishing new or amended energy-efficiency standards. APGA filed comments at DOE and participated in a public meeting regarding modifications to the Process Rule. APGA has argued, in testimony as well as through participation in a Public Meeting on the issue, that in making changes to the Process Rule that: DOE should focus on lowering costs to consumers through energy conservation but only if it that clearly makes economic ...
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has published information on three recent pipeline incidents: July 2, 2017 in Millersville, Pennsylvania for Failed Mechanical Tapping Tee The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the home explosion was an improperly installed mechanical tapping tee that leaked and allowed gas to migrate into the house where it ignited. The NTSB issued four Safety Recommendations, one of which recommended that insuring the correct installation of Permalock mechanical tapping tees be addressed in an operator’s DIMP. Note: The new version of SHRIMP 3.0, which is set to be released in early April, includes an update addressing ...
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Today is Genius Day and that means that it is the official launch day of APGA’s Natural Gas Genius campaign! “Natural Gas Genius” is a consumer marketing campaign that speaks from the heart and mind of today’s homebuyer/remodeler. It’s refreshing, sassy and right on target with this target audience. In each component of the campaign, we experience people’s stories that show us how they are transforming into providers of better living for themselves and those they love because they are choosing natural gas. The voice of the campaign comments on this transformation, acknowledges the “genius” moves these people are making and encourages them to do more with natural ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, March 14, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, March 8. A 204 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 1,186 Bcf as of Friday, March 8, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 204 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 359 Bcf less than last year at this time and 569 Bcf below the five-year average of 1,755 Bcf. At 1,186 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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At the end of March, the APGA Security and Integrity Foundation (SIF) will release the long-awaited upgrade to its Simple Handy Risk-based Integrity Management Plan (SHRIMP) program. Many APGA members use SHRIMP to create and update their Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP) plans, so this update will be significant. Among the major improvements are: • Enhanced use of damage and locate ticket data for risk ranking; • Easier process for identifying natural force damage categories and assessing risk; • New threat assessment section for PermaLockTM tapping tee issues; • Correction of Blasting subthreat problems; • Improved explanation of risk ranking; ...
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On November 30, 2018, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the Plastic Pipe Final Rule. Compliance with the rule went into effect on January 22, 2019. However, the American Gas Association (AGA) filed a Petition for Reconsideration with PHMSA. AGA asked that PHMSA provide additional time for compliance for specific elements within the rule and requested that the requirements for category 1 fittings be limited to those that are greater than four-inches. Due to the government shutdown, PHMSA’s response to AGA’s petition was delayed. A letter distributed by Alan Mayberry, PHMSA Associate Administrator of Pipeline Safety, ...
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This week in Birmingham, Ala., the Alabama Natural Gas Association (ANGA) hosted their Spring Seminar. Several APGA members were highlighted on the program, including John Olshefski from Huntsville Utilities, Matt Stennett from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, Kevin Saucier from Riviera Utilities, and several of APGA’s Associate Members who participated in the breakout sessions. Additionally, Erin Kurilla, APGA’s Vice President of Operations & Safety, provided an APGA and Pipeline Safety Update. She focused on four of the major compliance programs facing natural gas distribution operators: Distribution Integrity Management; Public Awareness; Operator Qualification; ...
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Today, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing titled Wasted Energy: DOE’S Inaction on Efficiency Standards and its Impact on Consumers and the Climate. Witnesses at the hearing included: Daniel Simmons, Assistant Secretary at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy (DOE); Andrew deLaski, Executive Director for the Appliance Standards Awareness Project; and Katherine Kennedy, Senior Director, Climate & Clean Energy Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council. The hearing began with an opening statement from Chairman Rush (D-Ill.) that focused on missed deadlines for completing reviews ...
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Dan Lapato Leaving APGA

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Dan Lapato, Government Affairs Director, will be leaving APGA and his last day in the office will be Friday, March 8. Dan has taken a position at the American Gas Association as the Managing Director for State Relations. While at APGA, Dan's primary areas of focus were on legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts related to codes and standards and energy efficiency. In addition to serving as Chief Operating Officer of the APGA Research Foundation, Dan also served as the staff liaison for the APGA Codes & Standards Committee and Direct Use Task Group. Prior to joining APGA, Dan served as the Deputy Director for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental ...
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APGA is excited to announce the launch of its Natural Gas Genius campaign on March 14, which is the official Genius Day! “Natural Gas Genius” is a consumer marketing campaign that speaks from the heart and mind of today’s homebuyer/remodeler. It’s refreshing, sassy and right on target with this target audience. In each component of the campaign, we experience people’s stories that show us how they are transforming into providers of better living for themselves and those they love because they are choosing natural gas. The voice of the campaign comments on this transformation, acknowledges the “genius” moves these people are making and encourages them to do ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, March 7, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, March 1. A 149 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 1,390 Bcf as of Friday, March 1, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 149 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 243 Bcf less than last year at this time and 464 Bcf below the five-year average of 1,854 Bcf. At 1,390 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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On February 26 and 27, the Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council (ONG-SCC) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) met to discuss pipeline physical and cyber security. ONG-SCC represents the private sector interests of the oil and natural gas industry in the public-private partnership. It provides a forum to coordinate oil and natural gas security strategies, activities, policy, and communication across the sector to support the nation’s homeland security mission. APGA is a member of the ONG-SCC and Erin Kurilla participated on behalf of APGA membership. Other participants comprised of a wide range of industry and government officials, including ...
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On February 21, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled against a petition filed by the Jacksonville Energy Authority (JEA) for declaratory order that a power purchase agreement between JEA and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) is subject to FERC jurisdiction – despite the fact that both the seller and the purchaser under the agreement are governmental entities and are therefore exempt from FERC regulation as public utilities under the Federal Power Act. The agreement, which was originally executed in 2008, obligated JEA to purchase from MEAG certain output from two yet-to-be-completed nuclear units at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. In ...
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On February 19, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) found that 20 gas companies have complied with the filing requirements of Order No. 849 and terminated their FERC Form 501-G proceedings without any further action. Last year, FERC moved to address the impact of the lower corporate tax rate—The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent—by approving Order No. 849, which requires interstate pipelines to file a one-time report, called FERC Form No. 501-G, on the rate effect of the new tax law and changes to FERC’s income tax allowance policies. APGA was one of the first—if not the first—groups of pipeline ...
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Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, February 28, which reports the week’s storage report highlights for Friday, February 22. A 166 Bcf decrease has been reported. Working gas in storage was 1,539 Bcf as of Friday, February 22, 2019, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 166 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 154 Bcf less than last year at this time and 424 Bcf below the five-year average of 1,963 Bcf. At 1,539 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.
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APGA Salary Survey Revamp

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The APGA Salary Survey has been collected and distributed for over 20 years. It is disseminated annually and alternates each year between surveying the salaries of non-management and management positions. The format of the survey has had little modification since its creation, with the same position titles included in the survey since at least 2000. In the past few years, participation in the salary survey has been on the decline. For 2018, many of the salary averages for a particular position consisted of limited data points. APGA believes reporting an average with such a low confidence level is a misleading representation of a national average. As a result, ...
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Donnie Sharp, Senior Natural Gas Supply Coordinator for Huntsville Utilities, has been named as APGA’s representative on the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB). Alonzo Weaver, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Memphis, Light, Gas and Water, previously served as APGA’s NAESB representative. However, Alonzo has recently taken on the role of APGA’s Treasurer which is the reason he is transitioning from APGA’s NAESB Representative. NAESB serves as an industry forum for the development and promotion of standards which intended to lead to a seamless marketplace for wholesale and retail natural gas and electricity. Specifically, NAESB ...
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On February 15, APGA filed comments with the Prudential Regulators (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System) in response to a proposed rulemaking that would implement a new approach for calculating the exposure amount of derivative contracts under the agencies’ regulatory capital rule. The proposed approach, called the standardized approach for counterparty credit risk (SA-CCR), would replace the current exposure methodology (CEM) as the methodology for calculating advanced approaches total risk-weighted assets under the capital rule. These technical changes ...
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On February 15, Dave Schryver, APGA’s Executive Vice President, spoke at a Wisconsin Public Service Commission conference in Wisconsin Dells. The conference was well attended by over 100 Wisconsin gas system employees. There are two public natural gas systems in Wisconsin, Florence Utility Commission and Rock Energy Cooperative. During his presentation, Dave discussed the many benefits that the direct use of natural gas provides, which include reliability, high efficiency, reduced emissions, resiliency, and affordability. He also discussed the attacks on natural gas that we have seen over the last several years at the federal, state and local level. He stated ...
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Please join the APGA Research Foundation (RF) for a webinar on March 5 at 3:00 pm EST reviewing some of the exciting research GTI did in 2018. The webinar will cover operations and safety research, end use technology as well as some of the newly commercialized products like OPW Breakaway Fitting that protect meter sets. Registration is free and open to any APGA member. Please register at www.apga.org/webinars .
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