May 15, 2019

New Legislation Aimed at Preventing Gas Explosions Passes State House in Texas

New legislation focused on reducing gas explosions has passed the Texas State House of Representatives and is now moving on to the Texas State Senate for approval. The new legislation calls for operators of natural gas lines to replace outdated pipes and to be more transparent about current gas leaks with citizens.

In January, a series of bills were filed in Texas to increase oversight of natural gas companies following a deadly gas explosion that killed a 12-year-old girl. Lawmakers want to do more to ensure accidents like these don’t happen. The bills require operators to be more forthcoming with customers about gas leaks. To that end, lawmakers have proposed the use of “interactive, searchable gas leak maps” to help keep citizens in the know.

As we wrote about in a March 19 blog, the idea of gas leak maps of this type are not new. A number of utilities are already using KUBRA Gas Leak maps to keep customers informed of leaks that are scheduled to be repaired or are being monitored.

The bills also call for operators to replace aging cast iron and steel pipe gas lines with newer materials and seeks to impose larger fines for safety violations. While this legislation is limited to Texas thus far, other providers should take note, as once these laws are in place in Texas, other states may seek to implement similar laws.