RRC Accepting Comments on New Weatherization Rule

June 28, 2022

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) is accepting public comment on proposed new rule 16 Texas Administrative Code §3.66, relating to Weather Emergency Preparedness Standards.

The proposed rule implements a process for the weatherization of energy infrastructure as specified in Senate Bill 3 passed by the 87th Legislature (Regular Session).

The weatherization rule covers facilities that are on the state’s Electricity Supply Chain Map at the time of adoption of the rule, and any subsequent iterations of the map. These include natural gas wells and oil leases producing casinghead gas, underground storage facilities, and gas processing plants. Gas pipelines that are on the Electricity Supply Chain Map and directly serve electric generation are also subject to the rule.

The proposed rules include requirements operators to:

  • Implement weather emergency preparation measures intended to ensure sustained operations during a weather emergency that can put the state’s electricity grid operation at risk;
  • Correct known weather-related forced stoppages that may have occurred prior to December 1, 2022; and
  • Contact the RRC if a facility sustains a weather-related forced stoppage that is not resolved within 24-hours.

The rule covers a large group of types of facilities and infrastructure across regions of the state with different weather patterns and geography. Operators will be required to weatherize facilities using weatherization methods applicable to the facility based on the type of facility, the facility’s critical components, the facility’s location, and weather data for the facility’s county or counties. The rule includes a table with extreme low and high temps for each county in the state compiled by the state climatologist.

RRC’s Critical Infrastructure Division inspectors will inspect facilities and enforce all provisions of the rule; and fines for administrative violations could reach up to $1 million per day.

To view the proposed rule and submit comments online by Monday, August 15, 2022, visit the RRC website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/general-counsel/rules/proposed-rules/ under “Chapter 3: Oil and Gas”.