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CALIFORNIA RELAXES BIOMETHANE REGULATIONS

Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously last week to adopt new rules for the injection of biomethane into the state’s natural-gas pipelines. Biomethane was previously banned from the California pipelines due to outdated laws and a lack of regulations for testing and monitoring the gas. The regulations passed (and the necessary statutory changes) stem from AB 1900, authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), and AB 2196 (joint-authored by Gatto). “Creating an in-state biomethane industry is common sense,” said Gatto. The final bills lifted the ban on landfill gas and instead required the PUC to adopt public-safety and pipeline-safety standards for biomethane, as well as monitoring and reporting standards, which would allow the renewable fuel to be used in California. The PUC now embarks on Phase II of their biomethane rulemaking, which will address cost concerns associated with the new biomethane regulations.

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