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Public Gas News Inside This Issue

2

Nominations Open for 2018 APGA Awards!

2

FTC Amends Energy Labeling Rule

3

APGA Communications Initiative Holds Focus Groups

3

PHMSA’s Voluntary Information-Sharing System Work Group Meets

3

APGA Submits Testimony to House Energy Infrastructure Hearing

4

PHMSA Holds Fourth Advisory Committee Meeting on Gas Transmission Rulemaking

4

APGA GOAL Provides Program Effectiveness Measures to Participants

8

2018 Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day

Upcoming APGA Marketing and End Use Conferences Join us in Panama City this April!

Register and learn more about the 2018 Marketing & Sales Trends & Training Conference (MSTTC) and End Use of Natural Gas Symposium (EUNGS)! Please see pages 5-7 or visit www.apga.org/PanamaCity.

March 12, 2018 Volume 38 Number 5

APGA Comments on DOE Process Rule

On March 5, APGA and the American Gas Association filed joint comments with the Department of Energy (DOE) in response to a request for information (RFI) to assist in identifying potential modifications to the Process Rule. The Process Rule addresses the procedures and policies that guide DOE in establishing new or amended energy-efficiency standards. APGA also participated in a January 9 public meeting at DOE on the Process Rule. At that meeting, Arthur Corbin, President & CEO of the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia and Chair of APGA’s Direct Use Task Group, delivered an opening statement in which he communicated APGA’s support for four specific reforms: DOE should focus on lowering costs to consumers through energy conservation but only if it clearly makes economic sense; DOE’s process should be as transparent as possible; test procedures must precede efficiency proposals; and, peer reviews must be completed before DOE authorizes another energy conservation standard. In its comments, APGA and AGA communicated, among other things, that the association’s members primarily serve residential and commercial customers, which rely heavily on gas-fired furnaces and water heaters. Therefore the minimum efficiency standards, as well as the procedures used by DOE to adopt new minimum efficiency standards, for such products is critically important. The comments also express concerns that given that appliances have a finite efficiency level and that in some cases, such as the fur-

nace rule proposed by DOE, proposed incremental changes in the minimum standards can reduce customer choice and ultimately result in the use of less efficient, more costly alternatives for customers. The comments also cite the concerns APGA has raised numerous times related to DOE’s analyses and models. For example, proprietary data that is not gathered by DOE under confidentiality agreements should not be used in a DOE rulemaking unless that data is made available to the public at no cost and without limitations as to its use. In addition, the comments also state that the energy efficiency modeling that has been utilized by DOE is too complex and burdensome and that replacing the current complex life-cyclecost analysis with a simple payback analysis based on “real numbers” is more practical. Lastly, APGA and AGA believe that the Process Rule must be mandatory since only then will DOE be held accountable to its own procedures. If the Process Rule is mandatory, it is much more likely to be followed which in turn will increase the confidence the public has in the transparency and fairness of the regulatory process. A copy of the joint APGA/AGA comments and the opening statement that APGA made at the January 9 meeting are available on the APGA website. For questions on this article, please contact Dave Schryver of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at dschryver@apga.org.


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Nominations Open for 2018 APGA Awards!

APGA Public Gas News

Publisher: Bert Kalisch Editor: Audrey Anderson Writers: APGA Staff For questions and comments: Please contact Audrey Anderson, Editorial and Marketing Director, at 202-464-2742 or by email at aanderson@apga.org Public Gas News is published biweekly by the American Public Gas Association Copyright 2016 American Public Gas Association All rights reserved. This is intended for actual subscriber use only. You may not forward, distribute, copy or republish this newsletter in any manner without the express written consent of the American Public Gas Association.

Each year, APGA presents awards to recognize individuals within our organization who have gone above and beyond to represent the interests of APGA and public natural gas. These awards will be presented at the 2018 APGA Annual Conference in Portland, Ore., in July. Please take a few minutes to recommend likely candidates for each of the following awards and return the nomination form to the APGA office by April 20. Please visit www.apga.org/awards to find the nomination forms. For questions or to email your nominations and/or documents, please contact Sheila Deringis at sderingis@apga.org. • Distinguished Service Award - Recipient has made substantial contributions to the public natural gas industry, maintains an unusual devotion to duty, exemplifies the highest ideals and finest traditions in the management of publicly owned natural gas systems, and has made contributions to the betterment of the community. Nominee holds a management position with an APGA public natural gas system member and has been active in APGA for at least five years. • Public Gas System Achievement Award - Recipient is an APGA public natural gas system member whose performance is widely recognized in the public natural gas industry, has made substantial contributions to the community, other utilities and the goals of APGA. The system has expressed a willingness to exchange ideas and technology with others to ensure the gas industry will be the safest and most knowledgeable of all utilities. The system has been an active member of APGA for at least five years. • Personal Achievement Award - Recipient has made substantial contributions toward the goals of APGA and the natural gas industry. Nominee is an employee of an APGA public natural gas system member. • Harry M. Cooke Personal Service Award - Recipient has made substantial contributions toward the goals of APGA and the natural gas industry. Nominee is not an employee of an APGA public natural gas system member. • J. Hardie Johnston Service Award - Individuals who are retiring after serving 25 years in the gas service business and have participated as an APGA member system representative or a retiring APGA Charter Member.

FTC Amends Energy Labeling Rule On February 22, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) amended the Energy Labeling Rule by updating the ranges of comparability and unit energy cost figures on EnergyGuide labels for dishwashers, furnaces, room air conditioners, and pool heaters. On December 4, APGA submitted comments to the FTC recommending that the commission review how they measure energy. APGA recommended the FTC include a Source Energy matrix to the Energy Label. APGA also recommended that the FTC reevaluate how they calculate marginal cost. The FTC responded in the final rule that they do not plan to pursue these

additional issues as part of the present amendments. Instead, the FTC staff will review these issues and consider whether to recommend additional amendments or non-regulatory measures in the future. It will also continue working outside the rulemaking context with DOE staff to explore online consumer information about the energy use of covered products, including source-based impacts and energy costs reflecting state or regional variations in fuel rates. For questions on this article, please contact Dan Lapato of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at dlapato@apga.org.


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March 12, 2018

APGA Communications Initiative Holds Focus Groups

In line with the current communications initiative that APGA’s Direct Use Task Group (DUTG) is undertaking, inperson focus groups were held recently in Atlanta and Kansas City. These focus groups included American customers, some of whom have natural gas and some who do not. Both broad and indepth questions were asked, and a lively dialogue ensued about using natural gas in a home. The focus groups were hosted and conducted by Porter Novelli (PN), the firm which APGA’s DUTG hired to spearhead the communications initiative. PN will be presenting their Phase 1 report as well as the focus group findings at the Panama City conferences on the morning of April 4. Overall though, the focus groups were very positive towards natural gas use in the home. Please register for the conference today

at www.apga.org/panamacity. As background, APGA’s DUTG began to develop a communications initiative in mid to late 2017, after it became apparent that there was a lack in public perception about the benefits of natural gas direct use. It is necessary to rectify this problem, so the team sought to conduct research on public perception. Using that research, messaging and branding could then be developed to effectively communicate with the public. PN was hired as the agency to conduct this research and to develop the messaging/branding. PN has worked over the past six months to conduct an assessment of what has been done in the past for communication efforts, media, and research. They have also reviewed member input from APGA’s Strategic Planning as well

as from an in-person strategy session held in November. PN has outlined a target audience, goals, and approaches and behavior changes that would like to be seen. And now, after the focus groups, they are finalizing Phase 1 of the initiative and developing that messaging/branding. The Communications Team is very pleased with the progress being made and is excited about the potential for what this communication initiative can amount to. They are now determining steps to take after this initial phase of research and message development is complete. For questions on this article, please contact Audrey Anderson of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at aanderson@apga.org.

PHMSA’s Voluntary Information-Sharing System Work Group Meets

On February 28, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Voluntary InformationSharing System (VIS) Work Group met near Washington, D.C. The group’s mission is to create a report for Congress providing recommendations on “the need for, and the identification of, a system to share pipeline safety data.” While the congressional mandate specifically identified the need to share in-line inspection data for hazardous liq-

uid and gas transmission pipelines, the scope has broadened to include gas distribution pipelines and is more focused on sharing incident lessons learned and near miss information. Due to the fact that distribution pipelines were not originally in scope, APGA does not have a formal seat on this Work Group. However, APGA has been invited to participate in several of the seven subcommittees, including: (1) Process Sharing, (2) Best Practices, (3)

Reporting and (4) Regulatory, Funding, and Legal. APGA will be reaching out to specific APGA members to assist in staffing these subcommittees. The subcommittees and full work group plan to meet five more times in 2018 in order to finalize the report by early 2019. For questions on this article, please contact Erin Kurilla of APGA staff by phone at 202-905-2904 or by email at ekurilla@apga.org.

APGA Submits Testimony to House Energy Infrastructure Hearing On February 27, APGA submitted testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy regarding their “State of Our Nation’s Energy Infrastructure” hearing. A copy of the testimony can be found on the APGA Community. The committee heard testimony from: Brian Slocum, Vice President of Operations, ITC Holdings Corporation; Jim Ross, Director, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Brenda Hellyer, Chancel-

lor, San Jacinto College; John Devine, Senior Vice President, HDR Inc.; Jennifer Chen, Sustainable Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council; and, Gary McCarthy, Mayor, City of Schenectady. The testimony focused on the need to recognize the benefits of the direct use of natural gas and the need to further build upon on the current distribution network so more homeowners and

businesses can have access to natural gas. Congressman Harper (R-Miss.) made the request, which was agreed upon, to include APGA’s testimony into the record. For questions on this article, please contact Dan Lapato of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at dlapato@apga.org.


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PHMSA Holds Fourth Advisory Committee Meeting on Gas Transmission Rulemaking On March 2, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) held a teleconference for its fourth Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee (GPAC) meeting on the Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Lines rulemaking. During this meeting, GPAC members finalized their discussions on several topics and began discussions on one new topic. The first topic was “Strengthening Assessment Methods,” which focused on requirements dealing with in-line inspection, spike pressure testing, and direct assessment. In each of these areas, the GPAC voted on positive modifications to PHMSA’s original proposals. For example, Direct Assessment may now be used “where it is appropriate to do so” instead of only when all other assessment techniques are impractical. Next, the GPAC discussed “Assessments Outside of HCAs.” In this area of the rulemaking, PHMSA proposed to expand required integrity assessments outside of High Consequence Areas

(HCA). The section introduced two new terms: “Moderate Consequence Areas” and “Occupied Sites.” The GPAC voted on improvements to both definitions and also approved shortening the timeframes for completing initial assessments and reassessments outside of HCAs, 14 years and 10 years respectively. The public stakeholders on the GPAC were very concerned with the longer timeframes in the proposed rule; therefore the GPAC supported shorter intervals. The major improvement to this section for APGA members was the GPAC’s approval to limit this requirement to pipelines operating greater than or equal to 30 percent of specified minimum yield strength (SMYS). The third topic discussed focused on records. The GPAC has been voting on associated recordkeeping requirements for each section as the topic is discussed. However, during Friday’s teleconference, PHMSA proposed removing troublesome general recordkeeping requirements that were proposed to be

added. This was a major improvement as industry was concerned that these general provisions could have many unintended consequences. PHMSA also clarified that the new recordkeeping requirements were only prospective and would not be applied retroactively. Finally, the GPAC began discussions on new and modified repair criteria requirements. No votes were taken on this topic and it will be further discussed at the next GPAC meeting, which is scheduled for March 26-28. PHMSA anticipates just two additional meetings on this rulemaking: March 2018 and June 2018. For questions on this article, please contact Erin Kurilla of APGA staff by phone at 202-905-2904 or by email at ekurilla@apga.org.

APGA GOAL Provides Program Effectiveness Measures to Participants APGA’s Gas Overall Awareness Level (GOAL) program is a partnership with Blue Otter Solutions and provides participants with a turnkey solution for measuring their Public Awareness Program effectiveness. GOAL periodically surveys both customers and noncustomers about pipelines, safety, and the use of natural gas. Through the resulting statistics, the GOAL survey measures the performance of the utility’s safety awareness plan, compared over the years and nationally, while customizable questions let the participating utility focus on specific issues of importance to them. APGA’s Gas Overall Awareness Program (GOAL) is a partnership with Blue Otter Solutions and provides participants with a turnkey so-

lution for measuring their Public Awareness Program effectiveness. GOAL periodically surveys both customers and non-customers about pipelines, safety, and the use of natural gas. Through the resulting statistics, the GOAL survey measures the performance of the utility’s safety awareness plan, compared over the years and nationally, while customizable questions let the participating utility focus on specific issues of importance to them. How is your company doing compared to the national averages from the GOAL program? • 89 percent of all respondents knew to call a number prior to digging or excavating. • 96 percent of all respondents know to

leave their home and call 911 from outside if they smell gas inside their house. • Unfortunately nearly 5 percent of customers would still light a match if they smelt gas inside their home. While APGA system customers and the affected public are definitely getting the message, there’s still work to be done! Find out more about GOAL at www.apga.org/programs/goal. For questions on this article, please contact Erin Kurilla of APGA staff by phone at 202-905-2904 or by email at ekurilla@apga.org.


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APGA Marketing & Sales Trends & Training Conference and APGA, AGA, SGA, ESC, and NGVAmerica End Use of Natural Gas Symposium

APGA, the American Gas Association, the Southern Gas Association, the Energy Solution Center, and NGVAmerica team up this year to host the End Use of Natural Gas Symposium. This event features presentations on the policy and politics affecting the natural gas end-use market. The symposium has an agenda full of natural gas policy issues and their effects on natural gas end use.

APGA Marketing & Sales Trends & Training Conference (MSTTC) attendees leave with insight on how to communicate the benefits and increase natural gas sales in their communities. MSTTC includes sessions on social media marketing, tankless gas water heaters and new technology, public perception of natural gas, new products on the marketplace for customers, and programs for education in schools.

April 3-5, 2018 Sheraton Bay Point Resort • Panama City, Fla. www.apga.org/panamacity


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APGA,SGA,AGA,ESCandNGVAmerica ENDUSEOFNATURALGASSYMPOSIUM April3Ǧ5,2018ySheratonBayPointResortyPanamaCity,FL 

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TUESDAY,APRIL3 CONFERENCEREGISTRATION&EXHIBITSETUP JOINTSESSION:WELCOME GregHenderson,APGAChair–SoutheastGas,Andalusia,AL OthersTBD  JOINTSESSION:CEOROUNDTABLE Speaker:LeadershipfromtheHostAssociations JOINTSESSION:ROUNDTABLEDISCUSSIONONTHEFUTUREOFTHEINDUSTRY NETWORKINGBREAKWITHEXHIBITORS–GROUPSSPLITAFTERTHEBREAK POLICIESLIMITINGCONSUMERSCHOICE  Speaker:GregHenderson CONSUMER’SENERGYCHOICE Speaker:LauraSchepis,ThePartnershipforAffordableCleanEnergy(PACE) CLOSINGREMARKS,DOORPRIZES&ADJOURNMENT NETWORKINGRECEPTIONWITHEXHIBITORS

WEDNESDAY,APRIL4 CONTINENTALBREAKFASTWITHEXHIBITORS WELCOME   JOINTSESSION:PUBLICPERCEPTIONOFNATURALGAS,AREVIEWOFTHESTUDY Speaker: PorterNovelli JOINTSESSION:NATURALGASRELIABILITY&DEPENDABILITY Speaker:TexasNaturalGasUtility NETWORKINGBREAKWITHEXHIBITORS ENDUSEOFNATURALGASRESEARCHOPPORTUNITIESANDNEEDS Speaker:DOERepresentative(invited)andaGTIRepresentative

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THEFUTUEOFRENEWABLENATURALGAS Speaker:RenewableNaturalGasConsortiumRepresentative(invited)



APGAMARKETING&SALES TRENDS&TRAININGCONFERENCE 

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TUESDAY,APRIL3

CONFERENCEREGISTRATION&EXHIBITSETUP JOINTSESSION:WELCOME GregHenderson,APGAChair–SoutheastGas,Andalusia,AL OthersTBD  JOINTSESSION:CEOROUDTABLE Speakers:LeadershipfromAPGA,AGA,ESC,NVGAmerica,SGA JOINTSESSION:ROUNDTABLEDISCUSSIONONTHEFUTUREOFTHEINDUSTRY SpeakersTBD NETWORKINGBREAKWITHEXHIBITORS(GROUPSSPLITAFTERTHEBREAK) GENERATORSINASSISTEDLIVINGFACILITIES Speaker:DaleCalhoun,FNGA TANKLESSWATERHEATERS&NEWTECHNOLOGY Speaker:MikePeacock,Rinnai CLOSINGREMARKS,DOORPRIZES&ADJOURNMENT NETWORKINGRECEPTIONWITHEXHIBITORS

WEDNESDAY,APRIL4 CONTINENTALBREAKFASTWITHEXHIBITORS JOINTSESSION:WELCOME TBD  JOINTSESSION:PUBLICPERCEPTIONOFNATURALGAS Speaker:TaraGreco,PorterNovelli JOINTSESSION:NATURALGASRELIABILITY&DEPENDABILITY Speaker:TexasNaturalGasUtility

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THURSDAY,APRIL5 CONTINENTALBREAKFASTWITHEXHIBITORS WELCOME TBD BESTPRACTICESFORENERGYDIVERSITY,COMMUNICATIONSANDWORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Speaker:LilaJaber  ROUNDTABLEDISCUSSIONABREAKDOWNOFTHENATIONALBUILDINGCODESAND THEIRIMPACTOFTHEENDUSEOFNATURALGAS  BREAK

DOEEQUIPMENTENERGYEFFICIENCYPROGRAMS THEFUTUREOFNATURALGASINBUILDINGS  CLOSINGREMARKS,DOORPRIZES&ADJOURNMENT

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WEDNESDAY,APRIL4(continued) NATURALGASAIRCONDITIONING&HEATPUMPS Speaker:RhodaWashington,Yanmar GHPPROJECTINCLEARWATER Speakers:TomHill,YanmarandBrianLangille,ClearwaterGasSystem NETWORKINGBREAKWITHEXHIBITORS NEWNATURALGASTECHNOLOGIES Speaker:RyanKerr,GasTechnologyInstitute SOCIALMEDIA/MARKETING&VIDEOMARKETING Speaker:ChrisMcAdoo,BestBehaviorCreativeClub CLOSINGREMARKS,DOORPRIZES&ADJOURNMENT NETWORKINGRECEPTIONWITHEXHIBITORS

THURSDAY,APRIL5 CONTINENTALBREAKFASTWITHEXHIBITORS WELCOME TBD JOINTSESSION:WOMENINENERGYLEADERSHIP Speaker:LilaJaber M&SAWARDWINNER:FIRSTPLACE YorkCountyNaturalGasAuthority,SC M&SAWARDWINNER:SECONDPLACE CityofTallahassee,FL BREAK ROUNDTABLEDISCUSSION:COMMUNICATINGTOCUSTOMERS Moderator:VickiO’Neil,CityofTallahassee,FL CLOSINGREMARKS,DOORPRIZES&ADJOURNMENT 



NETWORKINGBREAKWITHEXHIBITORS(GROUPSSPLITAFTERTHEBREAK)



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PROGRAMSFORENERGYEDUCATIONINSCHOOLS Speaker:ElissaRichards/GarySwan,NationalEnergyFoundation

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APGA SPRING CONFERENCES

April 3‐5, 2018 | Sheraton Bay Point Resort | Panama City Beach, FL

ATTENDEE REGISTRATION

ATTENDEE REGISTRATION FEES:

 Attendee Fee: $495

 Each Additional Attendee: $395

Registration fee includes registration for one person to attend all conference sessions, breaks, breakfasts, lunch and receptions.

EXHIBITOR REGISTRATION

EXHIBITOR REGISTRATION FEES:  Exhibitor Fee: $695

 Each Additional Exhibitor Attendee: $395

Registration fee includes registration for one person, six‐foot skirted table, food and beverage functions, plus attendance at conference sessions. The cost for each additional exhibitor attendee is $395 per person.

Set Up Time: Exhibit Hours: Tear Down:

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m.

REGISTRANT INFORMATION

Name: Title: Organization: Address: City: Email:

Badge Name: State: Phone:

Payment Information: Total Payment Amount Included: $

 Check enclosed (made payable to “American Public Gas Association”)  Credit Card (circle one): MasterCard Visa Amex Account No: Expiration Date: 3 or 4 Digit Code: Cardholder Name: Billing Address:

Please return this form to:

 Check if you require electricity  Check if you require Internet access (Exhibitor will be responsible for additional charges incurred for electricity and Internet.)

Tuesday, April 3: Tuesday, April 3: Wednesday, April 4: Thursday, April 5: Thursday, April 5:

American Public Gas Association 201 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Suite C‐4 Washington, DC 20002 Scan & email to: sderingis@apga.org Questions? Call or email Sheila Deringis Phone: (202) 464‐0832

Zip Code:

Conference location:

Sheraton Bay Point Resort 4114 Jan Cooley Drive | Panama City Beach, FL Reservations: (866) 716‐8134 or the online reservation link can be found at http://www.apga.org/panamacity Room Rate: $159 Standard or $189 Bay View Room Block Cut‐off Date: March 12, 2018


PRESORTED FIRST CLASS US POSTAGE PAID DULLES, VA PERMIT NO. 349

AMERICAN PUBLIC GAS ASSOCIATION

201 Massachusetts Ave NE Suite C-4 Washington, DC 20002 Phone: 800-927-4204 · Fax: 202-464-0246 www.apga.org

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March 12, 2018

2018 Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day

You can download this Facebook banner and more materials at www.apga.org/NGUWDay March 18 is now national Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day! In 2015, the APGA Marketing & Sales Committee began discussing how they believed natural gas utility workers deserved a day to be recognized for their hard work and accomplishments. After several months of planning, the committee named March 18 the day in which natural gas utility workers around the country will be honored each year. The decision to hold this day on March 18 was made by a poll on the APGA Community. March 18 is the date of the New London, Texas school

explosion in 1937 that led to the widespread odorization of natural gas and an increased emphasis on safety. Safety is a vital aspect to natural gas distribution and the employees of distribution companies endeavor to make natural gas delivery as safe as possible. Please honor the natural gas utility workers in your community and at your system by celebrating on March 18 or surrounding weekday! We encourage you to plan events, communication, social media posts, etc., to celebrate this new and very important day! We also

ask you to share how your system celebrates the day by either making a post to the APGA Community or by emailing Audrey Anderson at aanderson@apga. org. Join your industry peers in celebrating this important day of recognition to honor the hard work of natural gas utilities. Materials including a press release, op-ed, social media banner and logo are available on the APGA website at www.apga.org/NGUWDay. For questions on this event, please contact Audrey Anderson at aanderson@apga.org.

Public Gas News  

March 12, 2018

Public Gas News  

March 12, 2018

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