The Alabama State Senate on Tuesday passed a bill allowing chemical companies to store more gases in naturally occurring underground caverns. The underground gas storage facilities would be regulated by the Alabama Oil and Gas Board.

Senate Bill 36 is sponsored by State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore).

“This is dealing with the Oil and Gas Board,” Albritton explained. “We have those caverns where we have certain gases that are stored. This bill is amending that to include other gases.”

According to the synopsis, “Under existing law, the State Oil and Gas Board regulates underground storage facilities for natural gas and certain other hydrocarbons not defined as oil. This bill would amend the definition of gas for the purpose of the regulation of underground storage facilities by the board to include carbon oxides, ammonia, hydrogen, nitrogen, and noble gases.

“This bill would also specify the authority of the board to regulate underground storage facilities, including requiring a bond to [ensure] the performance of any duties relating to an underground storage facility. This bill would also authorize the board to adopt rules providing fees to defray the expenses of the board in regulating underground storage operations.”

Albritton explained that this will mean that those storage facilities “will be allowed to put those gases in those caverns and also allow the Oil and Gas Board to regulate that.”

SB36 was cosponsored by Senate Pro Tem. Greg Reed (R-Jasper).

SB36 passed 31 to zero without opposition or debate.

The legislation now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives for its consideration.

Wednesday will be day five of the 2022 Alabama Regular Legislative Session. Both Houses of the Legislature will meet this afternoon for late afternoon sessions following a day of work in committees.

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