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State cites Veolia Water over safety concerns

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Veolia Water Indianapolis is challenging a proposed $13,500 penalty sought by the state for three “serious” safety violations involving an excavation last February at the University of Indianapolis campus.

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the operator of the city’s water system after an excavator hit a gas line at a depth of about 6 feet at Hanna Avenue and Matthews Avenue.

IOSHA officials said there were no reports of injury. But the state agency alleges Veolia failed to instruct employees to recognize and avoid hazards and failed to properly determine the location of a gas line.

Veolia had an informal conference with IOSHA, filed a petition for review and is further evaluating the issues in the safety order, said Veolia spokesman Paul Whitmore.

“All employees receive training on hazards and maintaining a safe workplace on a monthly basis and supervisors offer daily safety briefings,” he said.

Whitmore said Veolia’s safety performance “is posting its safest results ever,” recording eight injuries in 2009, among 400 employees and 750,000 hours worked, “outpacing Bureau of Labor statistics for the industry.”

Veolia manages Indianapolis Water under a long-term contract, although Mayor Greg Ballard in March announced plans to sell the city-owned utility to Indianapolis-based Citizens Energy in a $1.9 billion deal.

The proposed sale has sharply divided the City-County Council along party lines, with many Democrats preferring the city retain the utility and its oversight. Ballard, a Republican, said the sale would generate about $450 million for needed city infrastructure improvements.

Citizens Energy, which operates the city’s gas system and steam/chilled water operations, said it would engage Veolia’s expertise following a sale, although did not specify to what degree.

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  • Say what?
    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  • Hmm...
    Waitaminit. Citizens' is a not-for-profit public charitable trust originally started to operate the gas works and coking plant; so it would seem natural for them to continue to accumulate the city's utilities. As to hitting a gas line more than SIX feet down... Wasn't the first time, nor probably the last. You dig, you're digging blind - unless you have access to one of the military's ground-penetrating radars, anyway. You know ABOUT where anything is - until your shovel - or backhoe - "finds" it the hard way. Ooops! Gas lines aren't USUALLY six feet down; they don't freeze like water lines do. Pay to fix the gas line and go on. How many other times have utility workers found each others' underground plants the hard way? Only Holey Moley knows....

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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