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A00656 Summary:

COSPNSRBichotte, Cahill, Galef, Buchwald, Colton, Cook, Braunstein, Lifton, Mosley, Joyner, Peoples-Stokes, Walker, Hunter
MLTSPNSRGlick, Skartados
Add 68-b, Pub Serv L
Requires gas corporations to file a plan with the public service commission addressing aging or leaking pipelines within their service territory and outlining plans for the replacement of such pipelines.
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A00656 Actions:

01/09/2017referred to corporations, authorities and commissions
01/03/2018referred to corporations, authorities and commissions
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A00656 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     January 9, 2017
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  RODRIGUEZ  --  read once and referred to the
          Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
        AN ACT to amend the public service law, in  relation  to  requiring  gas
          corporations  to  file  a  plan  addressing aging or leaking pipelines
          within their service territory

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  The public service law is amended by adding a new section
     2  68-b to read as follows:
     3    § 68-b. Aging or leaking pipelines. 1. Definitions. For  the  purposes
     4  of  this section, the following words, shall, unless the context clearly
     5  requires otherwise, have the following meanings:
     6    (a) "Customer" shall mean a retail customer receiving end use  service
     7  from a gas corporation.
     8    (b)  "Eligible infrastructure replacement" shall mean a replacement or
     9  an improvement of existing pipeline of  gas  corporation  that:  (i)  is
    10  performed  on  or  after  January  first, two thousand eighteen; (ii) is
    11  designed to improve public  safety  and/or  infrastructure  reliability;
    12  (iii)  does  not increase the revenue of a gas corporation by connecting
    13  an improvement or installing new pipeline for the principal  purpose  of
    14  serving  new  customers;  (iv)  reduces, or has the potential to reduce,
    15  lost and unaccounted for gas through a reduction in gas leaks;  and  (v)
    16  is  not  included  in  the  approved rate base of the gas corporation as
    17  determined in the gas corporation's most recent approved rate plan.
    18    (c) "Gas infrastructure rate plan" shall mean a  pipeline  replacement
    19  program  construction plan that a gas corporation files with the commis-
    20  sion pursuant to subdivision two of this section.
    21    (d) "Project" shall mean  an  eligible  pipeline  replacement  project
    22  proposed by a gas corporation in a plan filed under this section.
    23    2.  A gas corporation shall file with the commission a plan to address
    24  aging or leaking pipeline within its respective service territory in the
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 656                              2
     1  interest of public safety and reducing  lost  and  unaccounted  for  gas
     2  through a reduction in gas leaks. The filing of the plan required pursu-
     3  ant  to  this  subdivision  shall be submitted no later than the thirty-
     4  first of October, two thousand eighteen.
     5    3.  (a)  Any  plan filed with the commission shall include, but not be
     6  limited to: (i) eligible pipeline replacement of mains,  service  lines,
     7  metering  sets,  and other ancillary facilities composed of non-cathodi-
     8  cally protected steel, cast iron, wrought iron, and any  other  material
     9  the  commission  deems  leak-prone, prioritized to implement the federal
    10  gas distribution pipeline integrity management plan  annually  submitted
    11  to  the  commission and consistent with subpart P of 49 C.F.R. part 192;
    12  (ii) an anticipated timeline for the completion of each  project;  (iii)
    13  the  estimated  cost  of  each project; (iv) rate change requests; (v) a
    14  description of customer costs and benefits under the plan; and (vi)  any
    15  other  information  the  department  considers necessary to evaluate the
    16  plan.
    17    (b) Upon the filing of the plan required under  this  section,  a  gas
    18  corporation  shall  include a timeline for removing all leak-prone pipe-
    19  line on an accelerated basis, specifying an annual replacement pace  and
    20  program  end  date  with a target end date of either:  (i) not more than
    21  twenty years; or (ii) a  reasonable  target  end  date  considering  the
    22  allowable  recovery  cap established pursuant to subdivision six of this
    23  section.  The commission shall not approve a timeline as part of a  plan
    24  unless  the  allowable  recovery cap established pursuant to subdivision
    25  six of this section provides  the  gas  corporation  with  a  reasonable
    26  opportunity  to recover its expenditures related with removing all leak-
    27  prone infrastructure and the accelerated basis set forth under the time-
    28  line utilizing the cost recovery mechanism established pursuant to  this
    29  section.  After  filing  the  initial  plan, a gas corporation shall, no
    30  later than the thirty-first of October of each succeeding year, at annu-
    31  al intervals, provide the commission with a summary of  its  replacement
    32  progress  to  date,  a summary of work to be completed during the subse-
    33  quent year and any additional information the  commission  may  require.
    34  The  commission  may  require a gas corporation to file an updated long-
    35  term timeline as part of a plan if it alters the cap established  pursu-
    36  ant to subdivision six of this section.
    37    4. If a gas corporation files a plan on or before October thirty-first
    38  for  the  subsequent  construction year, the commission shall review the
    39  plan within six months. The plan shall be effective as of  the  date  of
    40  the  filing, pending commission review. The commission may modify a plan
    41  prior to approval at the request of a corporation or make other  modifi-
    42  cations  to  a  plan  as  a  condition of approval. The commission shall
    43  consider the costs and benefits of the plan including, but  not  limited
    44  to,  ratepayer impact, with special consideration of customers receiving
    45  assistance through the home energy assistance plan, reductions  of  lost
    46  and  unaccounted  for  gas through a reduction in gas leaks and improve-
    47  ments to public safety. The commission shall give  priority  review  and
    48  give  preliminary  acceptance  to plans specifically designed to address
    49  leak-prone pipeline most immediately in need of  replacement,  based  on
    50  standards established by the commission.
    51    5.  If  the  commission  determines  a  plan is in compliance with the
    52  requirements of this section and would  reasonably  accelerate  pipeline
    53  replacements and provide benefits, the commission shall issue acceptance
    54  in whole or in part. A gas corporation shall then be authorized to begin
    55  recovery  of the estimated costs of projects included in the plan begin-
    56  ning on May first of the year following the initial filing  and  collect

        A. 656                              3
     1  any  revenue  requirement,  including  depreciation,  property taxes and
     2  return associated with the plan.
     3    6.  On  or before May first of each year, a gas corporation shall file
     4  final project documentation for projects completed in the prior year  to
     5  demonstrate  substantial  compliance  with the plan approved pursuant to
     6  subdivision five of this section and that all project costs were reason-
     7  ably and prudently incurred. The commission  shall  investigate  project
     8  costs  within  six  months of submission and shall approve and reconcile
     9  the authorized rate factor, if necessary, upon a determination that  the
    10  costs  were  reasonable  and  prudent.  Annual  changes  in  the revenue
    11  requirement eligible for recovery  shall  not  exceed  one-and-one  half
    12  percent of the gas corporation's most recent calendar year of total firm
    13  revenues,  including  revenues attributable to transmission and distrib-
    14  ution customers.  Any revenue requirement approved by the commission  in
    15  excess of such cap may be deferred for recovery in the following year.
    16    7.  All  rate  change  requests  made to the commission pursuant to an
    17  approved plan shall be filed annually  on  a  fully  reconciling  basis,
    18  subject  to acceptance by the commission pursuant to subdivision five of
    19  this section. The rate change included in a plan pursuant to subdivision
    20  three of this section, reviewed pursuant to  subdivision  five  of  this
    21  section  and  taking  effect on May first pursuant to subdivision six of
    22  this section shall be subject to review by the commission, to  determine
    23  whether  the  gas  corporation has over-collected or under-collected its
    24  requested rate adjustment with any such discrepancies reconciled  on  an
    25  annual  basis.  If  the commission determines that any of the costs were
    26  not reasonably or prudently incurred by a gas corporation,  the  commis-
    27  sion  shall  disallow the costs and direct the gas corporation to refund
    28  the full value of the costs charged to customers  with  the  appropriate
    29  carrying charges on the over-collected amounts. If the commission deter-
    30  mines  that  any  of  the costs were not in compliance with the approved
    31  plan, the commission shall disallow the costs  from  the  cost  recovery
    32  mechanism established under this section and shall direct the gas corpo-
    33  ration  to  refund the full value of the costs charged to customers with
    34  the appropriate carrying charges on the over-collected amounts.
    35    8. The commission may promulgate any rules and  regulations  necessary
    36  to effectuate the pipeline replacement program pursuant to this section.
    37  The commission may discontinue the replacement program and require a gas
    38  corporation  to  refund any costs charged to customers due to failure to
    39  substantially comply with a plan or failure to reasonably and  prudently
    40  manage project costs.
    41    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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