IBJNews

Three Indiana gas utilities face pipeline safety fines

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has issued $180,000 in fines against three of the state's largest natural gas companies for safety violations involving underground pipelines.

The commission said Thursday the fines stemmed from Northern Indiana Public Service Co., Vectren and Citizens Gas not following procedures or keeping accurate pipeline records, which resulted in pipeline locations either being misidentified or not found as required under the state's "Call Before You Dig" laws.

Commission officials started the safety review after the 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, Calif., that destroyed 38 houses and killed eight people.

"It's still being discussed to this day, both at the federal level and by the states, to make sure that what happened there doesn't happen anywhere else," IURC spokeswoman Danielle McGrath told the Evansville Courier & Press.

The commission's order levied $75,000 fines against both Vectren and NIPSCO and $30,000 against Citizens Gas. It also directs the utilities to fix the violations.

Vectren spokeswoman Chase Kelley said the company will thoroughly review the IURC's order, then determine its next course of action.

"We take compliance with state and federal pipeline regulations very seriously," Kelley said.

Twenty-five pipe location incidents involved Vectren. Kelley said the company responds to more than 400,000 gas pipeline location requests each year in its Indiana and Ohio service areas.

For NIPSCO, commission officials found 19 occasions where workers damaged pipes while digging because they weren't able to locate them and six cases were pipelines were damaged because of mapping issues, The Times of Munster reported.

NIPSCO spokesman Nick Meyer said the company wouldn't appeal the state order, including the fines.

"NIPSCO has upgraded its systems and internal procedures to improve performance in responding to locate requests received throughout the year, and will continue to investigate and implement further measures to reduce pipeline damages," he said.

Citizens Gas spokeswoman said it was reviewing the IURC's order and is committed to having a safe delivery system.

Evansville-based Vectren has about 680,000 natural gas customers in southern and central Indiana, while Merrillville-based NIPSCO provides gas to nearly 790,000 homes and businesses across the northern third of the state. Citizens Gas has some 265,000 customers in and around Indianapolis.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

ADVERTISEMENT