Industrial gas users want to “comment” on the revised and newGas Industry Standards Board’s (GISB) standards that FERC proposedfor adoption in December, but there’s only one problem – they don’tknow what they are. The Commission apparently doesn’t have a copyof the proposed changes on file, they said, and to get them fromthe standards-setting organization could cost the tidy sum of$3,500.

FERC’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) gave only a”perfunctory” description of “Version 1.3” of the GISB consensusstandards that the Commission seeks to adopt, said the Process GasConsumers Group (PGC), the American Iron and Steel Institute andthe Georgia Industrial Group [RM96-1-011]. It merely said “Version1.3…updates and improves the standards, with the principalchanges occurring in the areas of confirmation practices, furtherstandardization of the information provided on the pipelineInternet websites, and revisions to the data sets.”

“No further explanation was provided in the NOPR…,” theindustrials noted. Nor were any of the revised or new standards”appended” to the NOPR, available on the Commission’selectronic/on-line information databases (such as RIMS or CIPS), oron file at FERC’s Public Reference Room, they said.

Such information is “apparently only available from GISB itselfat considerable expense – the GISB website indicates that to viewthe proposed standards on-line, a person must ‘subscribe’ to GISB’swebsite at the cost of $3,500…” A paper copy of the informationcan be ordered for $25, the industrials noted, but there’s noguarantee of when it would be received. A Commission representativesaid FERC was restricted in its release of information about theproposed standards because they have “copyright protection,” theindustrials related. “If the Commission is not making the proposedstandards available free or at a modest fee to the public… thatis clearly an unconscionable abuse by GISB that should not becondoned and abetted by the Commission,” they said. “The Commissionshould make it clear to GISB that, if GISB wants its proposedstandards to become the law of the land, it must release thematerial free of charge to the public or enable the Commission todo it.” Susan Parker

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