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PSC approves changes to gas safety, transportation rules

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved new requirements for its gas and transportation reporting requirements this week.

The addendums put the commission in compliance with federal reporting requirements. Staff and stakeholders evaluated recent changes on the federal level, noting funding for the commission’s Pipeline Safety Program would be in jeopardy if the state’s requirements were not as stringent as those on the federal level. The Governor’s Office also evaluated and approved Staff’s proposed changes. 

The commission voted to enact the new requirements during Wednesday’s agenda meeting. The deadline for the new standards to go into effect is March 12, 2022. 

The commission denied Spire Missouri’s request to dismiss a complaint from natural gas provider Clearwater Enterprises. Clearwater alleged Spire failed to comply with its tariff agreements following February’s cold snap by assessing more than $8 million in operational flow order penalties. Spire moved to dismiss the complaint, saying Clearwater failed to state a cause of action. 

The commission found Clearwater’s complaint valid and approved the case to proceed. Two similar complaint cases against Spire related to the cold weather event were approved to move forward last month. 

Ameren Missouri’s 2019-2021 Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA) plan was approved in 2018, setting up a three-year roadmap for investments and programs. The commission approved a request to extend the program through 2022, but Ameren noted its Residential Heating and Cooling Program, which provides incentives for energy-efficient products such as HVAC units, was in jeopardy of exhausting its funding by the end of 2021. 

The commission approved a request for an additional $5 million for the program’s budget to allow it to continue without interruption. 

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for June 23. Commissioners recently returned to in-person agenda meetings after more than a year of convening remotely.