(California) Senate Bill 1371 Natural gas: leakage abatement (2014)

Last updated: 11 December 2020

Directs the Public Utilities Commission to issue rules for the “avoidance, reduction, and repair of leaks and leaking components” along pipelines. These should include establishment of best practices for leak surveys, repair, and emissions quantification. The Commission shall also explore requiring baseline systemwide leak rates from each company, and annual reports describing measures taken to reduce the rate.


This would require each natural gas company or utility to submit a report as soon as practicable and thereafter, annually, for its intrastate transmission and distribution pipeline facility (and associated infrastructure such as underground storage facilities), to the California Public Utilities Commission. Approved plans would be “periodically reviewed and updated.” The report shall include a “summary of utility leak management practices, a list of methane leaks from the previous year by grade*, a list of open leaks that are being monitored or are scheduled to be repaired, and a best estimate of gas loss due to leaks.”


Creates criminal violation for failure of a corporation to comply with Commission rules.


This statute was explicitly focused on greenhouse gas emissions.


* California Public Utilities Commission General Order 112-F Section 143.2 classifies methane leaks from pipelines as follows: Grade 1 represents an existing or probable hazard to persons or property; Grade 2 justifies scheduled repair based on the potential for creating a future hazard; Grade 3 is not hazardous and can reasonably be expected to remain not hazardous. Grades are based on safety alone; S.B. 1371 requires consideration of greenhouse gas reductions as well.

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