Natural Gas Storage: Department of Transportation Could Take Additional Steps to Improve Safety Enforcement Planning, Report to Congressional Requesters [open pdf - 2MB]
"Natural gas storage is important for ensuring that natural gas is available when demand increases. There are 415 storage sites--including underground caverns and depleted aquifers and oil and gas reservoirs-- located in 31 states, often near population centers [...]. Leaks from these sites, such as one near Los Angeles that led to the temporary relocation of about 8,000 families in 2015, can result in environmental and economic damage. Until 2016, states set standards for 211 sites, but there were no standards for 204 sites connected to interstate pipelines subject to federal jurisdiction. With passage of the PIPES [Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines Enhancing Safety] Act of 2016, PHMSA [Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration], an agency within DOT [Department of Transportation] that sets and enforces standards for energy pipelines, among other things, was tasked with issuing minimum standards for all gas storage sites. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review natural gas storage safety standards. This report examines (1) PHMSA's efforts to implement the requirement to issue minimum safety standards for natural gas storage sites and (2) the extent to which PHMSA has planned strategically to enforce its safety standards for these sites. GAO reviewed PHMSA documents and plans, compared them to leading planning practices, and interviewed PHMSA officials."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/