THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 22


feature

Environmental Group
and Utility
Work Together

I

n January 2016, the City of Mesa, Ariz., was contacted by the Environmental
Defense Fund (EDF) for purposes of continuing a pilot project to conduct
a methane leak survey in Mesa. EDF was sampling a cross-section of the
country's natural gas operators to determine methane leaks on their
respective systems.

It was explained that the methane
survey would be performed using
new leak-detection technology in
conjunction with Google Earth Outreach
vehicles to drive the streets of Mesa to
find and map leaks. The process involved
performing an initial and follow-up
survey to quantify the data. The science
behind the project was led by Dr. Joe
von Fischer at Colorado State University
and EDF's website (www.edf.org/climate/
methanemaps) provided information
helping to explain an overview of their
work along with methane survey results
from previous cities.
Mesa's first reactions were of
concern and uncertainty about the

testing and results. Unfamiliar with
the Environmental Defense Fund or its
purpose, the initial thought during the
phone call was the quintessential phrase,
"I'm from the government and I'm here
to help." Those early concerns were
captured in five major points:
n	
EDF would be using technology
not currently accepted by pipeline
safety officials and newly designed
equipment, which is highly
sensitive-1,000 times more sensitive
than currently approved technology-
and the added sensitivity could lead
to "false-positives" or indications of
unrelated methane leaks and not
directly to natural gas leaks;

22	 THE SOURCE | THE VOICE AND CHOICE OF PUBLIC GAS

	 Indications of methane leaks would
be validated simply by a second driveby with indication aligning with the
previous GPS location;
n	
The random survey was to be
conducted without knowing the
existing gas facility locations;
n	
The highly subjective nature of
the survey caused concern for our
organization's depiction in local/
national news; and,
n	
It was unknown if we would have
the opportunity to refute and
publicly comment on the collected
information.
In advance of Mesa's first conference
call with EDF, we contacted other
operators who experienced the EDF
surveys. Our apprehension and concern
was initially mirrored by our peers. Since
some operators owned gas systems
comprised of older, leak-prone materials,
they anticipated a large number of
leaks. Their concern was related to the
perception of system safety. Other
operators indicated that some survey
results were related to incomplete
combustion, and other bio-genetic
sources, most prominently landfills. Most
n


http://www.edf.org/climate/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Winter 2016

First Person
APGA Events
Industry Update: Furnace Rule Report
The Future of Natural Gas in Zero Energy Building Design
Bringing Success to Succession in the Utility World
Taking a Fresh Look at Distributed Generation and CHP
Why Energy Codes Matter and How They Impact Your Utility
Environmental Group and Utility Work Together
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
At Last
Advertisers’ Index/ Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - bellyband1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - bellyband2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - cover1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - cover2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 5
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 6
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - First Person
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - APGA Events
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 9
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Industry Update: Furnace Rule Report
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - The Future of Natural Gas in Zero Energy Building Design
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 12
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 13
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Bringing Success to Succession in the Utility World
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 15
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Taking a Fresh Look at Distributed Generation and CHP
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 17
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 18
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 19
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Why Energy Codes Matter and How They Impact Your Utility
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 21
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Environmental Group and Utility Work Together
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 23
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Legislative Outlook
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 25
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - The Pipeline
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Marketing Matters
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 28
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 29
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 30
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Advertisers’ Index/ Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - cover4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - outsert1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - outsert2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - outsert3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - outsert4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0115
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com