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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 1782 (March 25, 2023).

52 Pa. Code § 59.73. Emergency action.

§ 59.73. Emergency action.

 (a)  An emergency exists whenever the aggregate demand of firm service customers on an NGDC’s system or confined segment of the system exceeds or threatens to exceed the gas supply or capacity that is actually and lawfully available to the NGDC to meet the demands, and the actual or threatened excess creates an immediate threat to the NGDC’s system operating integrity with respect to Priority 1 customers as defined in subsection (i).

 (b)  If, in the sole judgement of the NGDC, there is sufficient time, the NGDC shall use reasonable business and operational efforts to: interrupt all interruptible services, issue operational flow orders, and call for voluntary usage reductions by all customers before taking any action under subsection (c). The NGDC shall take these three actions sequentially to the extent feasible.

 (c)  In the event of an emergency under subsection (a), the NGDC may require each commercial and industrial retail and transportation customer that is not a Priority 1 customer under subsection (i) to reduce its consumption of gas.

   (1)  The reduction required shall be determined by the utility without regard to priorities of use, as necessary to minimize the potential threat to public health and safety.

   (2)  The minimum authorized usage may not be lower than the minimum usage of firm service necessary for plant protection use.

   (3)  When all other service has been curtailed except for Priority 1 service and the NGDC continues to be unable to meet Priority 1 requirements, the NGDC shall exercise its judgment as to any further curtailment that may be necessary and shall utilize measures designed to minimize harm to customers if curtailments to plant protection use are found to be necessary.

   (4)  Consistent with its responsibility to maintain system integrity at all times, the NGDC shall restore service as soon as practicable to any gas-fired electric generation facility that is deemed critical to electric system reliability by the electrical system’s control area operator.

 (d)  Mandatory reductions under subsection (c) shall be for a period specified by the NGDC until further notice. The NGDC may change a customer’s authorized usage, upon notice, at any time during an emergency.

 (e)  Mandatory reductions under subsection (c) shall be for a maximum duration of 5 business days unless extended by Commission order. As an alternative to extending mandatory reductions under subsection (c), the Commission may order the NGDC to initiate priority-based curtailments under subsection (f).

 (f)  In determining whether to order the NGDC to initiate priority-based curtailments, the Commission will examine whether the NGDC did the following:

   (1)  Interrupted all interruptible services.

   (2)  Issued operational flow orders.

   (3)  Called for voluntary usage reductions by all customers.

 (g)  Upon issuance of an order to initiate priority-based curtailments, the NGDC shall provide all affected customers the maximum notice possible, by means of telephone, fax or electronic data interchange, specifying the curtailment percentage of the customer’s firm gas service and resulting allowance as may be the case.

 (h)  Upon issuance of an order to initiate priority-based curtailments, the available gas supplies to the NGDC shall be prorated, if practicable, among its customers according to the following priorities of use:

   (1)  Customers in a higher priority category will not be curtailed until all customers falling into a lower priority category have been restricted to plant protection use levels, unless operational circumstances or physical limitations warrant a different result.

   (2)  Where only a partial restriction of a classification is required, implementation shall be pro rata, to the extent practical under the circumstances, as set forth in the NGDC’s tariff.

     (i)   Following are the priority categories, listed in descending order, pertaining to the curtailment of firm services:

   (1)  Priority 1. Service for essential human needs use.

   (2)  Priority 2. Firm services not included in essential human needs use.

 (j)  As part of its natural gas emergency plan, an NGDC may divide any or all of the priority of use categories in subsection (i) into subcategories.


   The provisions of this §  59.73 issued under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 2203(15) and 2208.


   The provisions of this §  59.73 adopted December 14, 2001, effective December 15, 2001, 31 Pa.B. 6800.

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  59.71 (relating to definitions); 52 Pa. Code §  59.72 (relating to natural gas emergency planning); and 52 Pa. Code §  59.74 (relating to utility liability).

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