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April 11, 2023

House Advances Bills to Improve Gas Pipeline Safety and Expand EV Charging

DENVER, CO – The House today passed two bills on a preliminary vote to improve the safety of natural gas pipelines and make it faster, easier and less expensive for local governments to approve solar installation projects. 

“Many homes in Colorado rely upon natural gas, and this legislation works to improve safety and close gaps in maintenance requirements,” said Rep. Tammy Story, D-Conifer, sponsor of HB23-1216. “Establishing maintenance responsibility and requiring documentation of inspections are just a few of the ways we can improve the safety of natural gas pipelines that service our homes and businesses. This bill protects Coloradans by ensuring regular inspections and creating a baseline for safely maintaining natural gas pipelines regularly.”

"We're taking steps to ensure that natural gas pipelines are well maintained and regularly inspected to keep Coloradans safe," said Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Englewood, sponsor of HB23-1216. "This legislation will establish maintenance expectations, communications and documentation for pipelines so Coloradans have accurate and up-to-date information about the pipelines that service their homes, businesses and communities Safety is a priority and closing these gaps in maintenance requirements and upkeep is an important step that protects Coloradans."

HB23-1216, sponsored by Representative Tammy Story, would address the gaps in maintenance and inspections of natural gas pipelines to ensure public safety. This bill would direct the Public Utilities Commission to adopt rules requiring a combination of inspections, maintenance responsibilities and written notice from a pipeline’s owner or operator to a natural gas consumer before March 1, 2024 to bolster accountability. Specifically, HB23-1216 would require inspections of gas meters and service regulators every 36 months, documentation of inspections and ensure specific placement of natural gas vents to ensure gas can properly escape.

Additionally, this bill would establish an improved process to determine who is responsible for maintenance and repairs of existing service lines as well as clear written notice to consumers regarding future service line installation, maintenance and repair. 

“Many Coloradans are interested in owning an EV, however it can be difficult to secure charging locations near their home or even in their communities,” said Rep. Tisha Mauro, D-Pueblo, sponsor of HB23-1233. “This bill will expand EV charging infrastructure to accommodate new and future EV owners. By making EV use and ownership more accessible, we’re reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs and saving Coloradans money.”

“With more EVs on the road than ever before, it’s vital we invest in EV-specific infrastructure now to meet growing demand,” said Rep. Alex Valdez, D-Denver, sponsor of HB23-1233. “By expanding charging stations, we can break down accessibility barriers in our communities and across the state that hold people back from owning EVs. Our legislation sets in motion a plan to expand EV charging, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and save Coloradans’ money in the long term.”

HB23-1233, sponsored by Representatives Tisha Mauro and Alex Valdez, would remove barriers to EV ownership by ensuring Coloradans have access to EV charging, especially renters or those living in multifamily housing. Specifically, HB23-1233 would expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure in new construction to accommodate new and current EV owners. The bill would update electric code requirements, remove burdensome parking restrictions for EVs, and provide property tax relief to Coloradans for EV charging stations.

HB23-1233 is part of a broader legislative package to incentivize the advancement and adoption of clean energy technologies, accelerate the clean energy transition and make Colorado a leader in budding clean energy technologies.  

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