Wilk bill to require study on odorants used in natural gas storage facilities passes first policy committee

SACRAMENTO –Today Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, presented Assembly Bill 1904, which would require the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to conduct a natural gas odorant study. AB 1904 unanimously passed the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Material Committee.

“Residents of Porter Ranch have widely reported debilitating headaches, bloody noses, and nausea after sensing the distinctive, putrid smell of natural gas odorants,” said Wilk. “In the wake of the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak, we must immediately study and identify any alternative odorants to ensure the state is conducting this important practice in the safest way possible.”

The current regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board require any stored natural gas to contain odorants that are nontoxic and harmless to humans. Natural gas is odorless and colorless, so these chemical odorants are added for safety in order to detect natural gas leaks by smell. AB 1904 includes an urgency clause so that this study can commence immediately, since odorants similar to those used at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility are used in numerous facilities across the state.

AB 1904 will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations committee.