Methane Leak Proceeding (R.15-01-008) 

Gas Leak Abatement OIR (R.15-01-008) (President Picker/ALJ Kersten) (Advisory): To carry out the intent of Senate Bill 1371 (Leno, 2014), the Commission initiated this rulemaking to adopt rules and procedures for commission-regulated pipeline facilities to minimize natural gas leaks to reduce hazards and to advance greenhouse gas reduction goals. Gas corporations filed reports by May 15, 2015, on leaks, leak management practices and “best estimates” of gas losses. The Risk Team, in cooperation with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff, provided guidance to the gas corporations as to the structure of these reports, conducted three workshops and established a technical working group to discuss leakage issues and “best practices” to detect, monitor and repair such leaks.   

In March 2018, respondent utilities filed their first mandatory compliance plans to incorporate the 26 Best Practices for methane leak detection, quantification and elimination, as ordered in D.17-06-015. RASA staff will review and approve compliance plans and proposed pilots/R&D projects meant to contribute to the state’s ambitious GHG reduction target. Annual leak surveys for 2017 data are due in mid-June, and a fourth annual report will be issued by the end of the year. Work continues on refining the annual report templates to meet changing informational needs, and working with the California Air Resources Board to revise emission factors to improve the utilities’ reporting of emissions.


Recent Documents and Workshops 

April 19, 2018 - Compliance Plan Workshop

  1. Workshop Agenda and SED Presentation
  2. CARB Societal Cost of Methane Presentation
  3. SoCalGas Best Practices Presentation
  4. PG&E Best Practices Presentation
  5. SWG Emissions Mitigation Compliance Plan Presentation
  6. EDF and CUE SB1371 Presentation

March 30, 2018:

Staff issued a Data Request Regarding 2018 Annual Reporting Requirements and Directing Responses by June 15, 2018, R.15-01-008. The following appendices, referred to in the March 30, 2018 Data Request, are also being posted: 

  1. 3-31-18 Template Data Request 
  2. 3-31-18_summary of template changes v1
  3. Appendix 1 - Transmission Pipeline R 3-31-18
  4. Appendix 2 - Transmission MR Stations R 3-31-18
  5. Appendix 3 - Transmission Compressor Stations R 3-31-18
  6. Appendix 4 - Distribution Mains Services R 3-31-18
  7. Appendix 5 - M&R Stations R 3-31-18
  8. Appendix 6 - MSA Systems R 3-31-18
  9. Appendix 7 - Storage Facilities R 3-31-18
  10. Appendix 8 - Template Summary R 3-31-18
  11. Appendix 9 - Emisssion Factors and Categorization Requirements R 3-31-18


March 15, 2018:

Decision D.17-06-016 required California gas utilities to file a proposed Leak Abatement Compliance Plan on March 15, 2018, detailing how they would put the 26 Best Practices for Leak Abatement to work for their operations and where possible provide cost and emissions reduction estimates. These plans are under review by the Risk Assessment and Safety Advisory staff in consultation with the California Air Resources Board: 

 January 5, 2018:


September 15, 2017:  

         Best Practices Compliance Plan Template and Guidelines:     

                Compliance Plan Best Practices Template

                Compliance Plan Guidance Document 

August 1, 2017:  

         Presentations from the Workshop to develop the Best Practices Compliance Plan Template:

                August 1 Presentation

                Cost Recovery Presentation


April 4, 2017: Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling Issuing Staff Data Request Regarding 2017 Annual Reporting Requirements and Directing Responses by June 16, 2017, R.15-01-008. The following appendices, referred to in the April 4, 2017 ruling, are also being posted:    


January 19, 2017: Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling Entering California Air Resources Board and California Public Utilities Commission Joint Staff Annual Report on Analysis of June 17, 2016 Utilities’ Reports and Commission Staff Proposal on Best Practices into the Record and Seeking Comments:

Joint Staff Analysis of 2016 Methane Leaks andEmissions Reports from utilities June 17, 2016 report filings as required by R.15-01-008 per SB 1371.  

Final Best Practices Revised Staff Recommendations with BP Matrix January2017

November 3, 2016 workshop to consider methodology for determining the cost-effectiveness of “Best Practices” to achieve methane emission reductions in the regulated natural gas system:

  1. SB 1371 Cost Effectiveness and Legislative Update Workshop Agenda Nov. 3, 2016
  2. 1371 CE workshop ARB Slides
  3. CUE - Best Practices cost considerations
  4. EDF Cost-effectiveness Presentation
  5. Joint IOUs Presentation
  6. TURN
  7. Final Presentation. 11-3 CPUC-CARB Workshop 


April 12th, 2016, the CPUC/California Air Resources Board (CARB) held a workshop entitled Targets, Compliance and Enforcement, at the CARB offices in Sacramento. The CARB, CPUC, Environmental Defense Fund, Sempra Utilities, PG&E and the Independent Gas Storage Providers made the following presentations at the workshop. A workshop report will be provided later:

  1. California Air Resources Board (CARB)
  2. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
  3. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
  4. Sempra Utilities
  5. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E)
  6. The Independent Gas Storage Providers (ISPs)


April 11, 2016: Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling Issuing Staff Data Request Regarding 2016 Annual Reporting Requirements and Directing Responses by June 17, 2016, R.15-01-008. The following appendices, referred to in the April 11, 2016 ruling, are also being posted:


March 24, 2016: Administrative Law Judge's Ruling Entering Summary of Best Practices Working Group Activities and Staff Recommendations into the Record and Seeking Comments, R.15-01-008

The following documents are the results of Best Practices Working Group Meetings on December 8, 2015, December 22, 2015, January 5, 2016, January 19, 2016, and January 20, 2016:

Joint Air Resources Board/California Public Utilities Commission staff report on analysis of the utilities May 15, 2015, methane leak and emissions reports required by SB 1371 and this rulemaking. 


Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling Entering Newly Revised Natural Gas Annual Reporting Requirements into the Record and Seeking Comments, dated January 26, 2016, has been filed.  Proceeding R.15-01-008 with the latest documents, rulings and decisions can be found here.  


The following appendices are referred to in the January 26, 2016 ruling are also being posted for comments.


Methane Leak Abatement Proceeding Workshop on Cost-Effectiveness and Best Management Practices (R.15-01-008), October 27, 2015 presentations: 


September 23, 2015, Workshop on Methane Leak Reporting Issues (R.15-01-008), presentations:

  1. SED Workshop Slides with Agenda and Timeline
  2. CARB Presentation on Quantification and Emissions Factors
  3. SDG&E/SoCalGas Presentation on leak Sources
  4. How to Improve Future Reporting


April 6, 2015, SED Workshop on Natural Gas Leak Abatement Best Practices (R.15-01-008), presentations:

  1. Agenda
  2. Safety & Enforcement Division Introduction
  3. California Air Resources Board Methane Reduction Initiative
  4. Panel One: Policy  
  5. Panel Two: Technologies and Tools  
  6. ICF Report: Economic Analysis of Methane Emission Reduction Opportunities (March 2014)



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