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Tennessee Pipeline to Pay Fine, Fund Pennsylvania Clean-Up Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reached a settlement with Kinder Morgan Inc. affiliate Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC (TGP) that will require the midstream company to pay a $210,000 fine and fund a $540,000 clean-up program in the state.

DEP said the pipeline operator committed multiple violations of the Clean Streams Law beginning in 2011 during work on its 300 Line expansion project in north-central and northeast Pennsylvania. In addition to the $750,000 in penalty and clean-up costs, TGP has also agreed to pay recovery costs of about $50,000 to four conservation districts and the DEP.

The clean-up program, which DEP added was not required under state law, will find TGP funding the restoration of illegal dumpsites in Pike, Potter, Susquehanna and Wayne counties over a four-year period.

"The civil penalty is two-fold in its benefit to the public," DEP Northeast Regional Director Mike Bedrin said. "It eliminates unsightly and illegal dumpsites that are problematic for many communities across the state, and it directs more money into the Pennsylvania Clean Water fund, which is designed to protect the waterways of the commonwealth."

DEP said that during 73 inspections of the 300 Line expansion -- completed in 2012 to add 350,000 Dth/d of Appalachian capacity to the interstate system -- regulators discovered violations including the discharge of sediment pollution into waterways and a failure to prevent the problems, which occurred in protected "high quality" or "exceptional value waters."

TGP noted that the 300 Line expansion began when it was a subsidiary of El Paso Corp., which Kinder Morgan acquired for $38 billion in 2012 (see Daily GPI, May 25, 2012). It also said it has cooperated with state regulators and responded to their concerns.

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