A proposed weatherization rule for critical gas infrastructure is open for public comment at the Texas Railroad Commission.


The weatherization rules under SB 3 came in response to the widespread outages during the 2021 winter storm.

Proposed weatherization rules for critical gas infrastructure should be approved by the Texas Railroad Commission before the end of summer, the agency has announced.

Required under Senate Bill 3 from the 87th Texas Legislature, the rules, when finalized, will create new requirements for critical facilities that are included in the state’s Electricity Supply Chain Map. These include natural gas wells, underground storage facilities and gas processing plants. Gas pipelines on the Electricity Supply Chain Map that directly serve electric generation also will be subject to the new rules.

The agency’s three commissioners published a proposed draft of the rules on June 28, and have set an August 15 deadline for the public to comment. The proposed rules can be found under Chapter 3, of the RRC website, found here.

In specific terms, the proposed rules will require relevant facilities to implement measures to ensure sustained operations during a weather emergency that can put operations of the state’s power grid at risk. The rules will require facilities to correct problems associated with weather-related forced stoppages that occurred prior to Dec. 1, 2022. They will require operators to weatherize facilities using methods based on facility type and county-specific weather conditions.

Inspectors from the agency’s Critical Infrastructure Division will inspect facilities and enforce all provisions. Fines for administrative violations could reach up to $1 million per day, according to the provision of SB 3.

— R.A. Dyer