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PSC extends intrastate natural gas pipeline waivers due to coronavirus


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) extended a waiver for one of its rules in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The order waived a requirement that intrastate natural gas pipeline operators must visually inspect customer gas piping. The waiver was first issued as part of an executive order by the governor in March, which the commission enforced. 

Commission Staff recommended the extension of the waiver through Dec. 30 of this year in order to match the expiration date of the executive orders. Staff also suggested the commission decide at that time whether to further extend the waiver or terminate it. 

The PSC approved the extension during Wednesday’s agenda meeting. 

The commission also approved Spire Missouri’s application for a program to address unprotected steelyard lines owned by industrial consumers. Spire requested a waiver from the commission to extend the deadline for repairs from  Dec. 31 through the end of 2025. The commission approved the request for the program as well as the waiver.

The PSC considered a case involving Evergy Metro and Evergy Metro West’s request to alter rates based on the company’s investment system under the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA). The companies submitted tariff sheets in June with the intention of implementing the changes at the start of August. The commission approved the rate adjustments.

Additionally, the commission amended a report and order regarding Ameren Missouri. The company and commission had filed a stipulation and agreement in February that resolved all but two issues that had been raised in a case over Ameren’s electric general rates last year. 

The stipulation required a set of meetings between Ameren and members of the commission Staff, the Office of the Public Counsel (OPC), and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Division of Energy (DE) to discuss plans to increase customer engagement. The commission approved Ameren’s plans for future education and outreach after a final meeting between the parties on June 30. 

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for July 22.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For up-to-date information on coronavirus, check with the CDC and DHSS.