As soon as practicable, but no later than 3 months after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly, the Department shall adopt rules establishing the minimum criteria for an unintentional release of natural gas that would constitute an incident for purposes of this Section. In determining what constitutes an incident, the Department shall consider, but is not limited to, the following criteria:
(1) the amount of natural gas or other substances
The rules shall be at least as stringent as the definition of "incident" as promulgated by the United States Secretary of Transportation under 49 CFR 191.3(1)(iii). The Department shall maintain the rules so that the rules are at least as stringent as the definition of "incident" from time to time in effect under 49 CFR 191.3(1)(iii).
In addition, all private residents, owners and operators of private water systems, or businesses, including agricultural operations, located within one and a half miles of the boundaries of the natural gas incident must be notified as soon as practically possible.
Notices to private residents and businesses must be attempted through verbal communication, whether in person or by telephone. If verbal communication cannot be established, a physical notice must be posted on the premises of the private residence or business in a conspicuous location where it is easily seen by the inhabitants of the private residence or employees at the business. The physical notice shall carry the following text in at least 18-point font: "NATURAL GAS INCIDENT NOTICE - READ IMMEDIATELY". Notices required under this Section shall be provided whether or not the threat of exposure has been eliminated. Both verbal and physical notices shall include the location of the natural gas incident, the date and time that the natural gas incident was discovered, contact information of the operator of the natural gas storage field, and any applicable safety information.
The operator of a natural gas storage field has a continuous and ongoing obligation to further notify the affected parties as necessary if it is determined that the boundaries of the natural gas incident have increased, moved, or shifted. This notice requirement shall be construed as broadly as possible.
(Source: P.A. 100-896, eff. 1-1-19.)