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Pennsylvania Fines Columbia Gas Transmission For Clean Streams Violations

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced a $150,000 settlement with Columbia Gas Transmission LLC for multiple violations of the Clean Streams Law during construction of a natural gas pipeline in the northeast part of the state.

DEP said the violations occurred during construction of Columbia's Line 1278 replacement project in 2011 and 2012 in Pike County.

Over the course of 30 inspections conducted by DEP and the Pike County Conservation District (PCCD), which has authority to enforce state environmental laws, 125 violations were recorded. Those violations included failure to implement, maintain and provide temporary stabilization of disturbed areas, and potential pollution and sediment discharges into waterways -- some of which are classified as "high quality."

Columbia Transmission is a NiSource Inc. company that's expected to be spun off later this year into the Columbia Pipeline Group, which would be a separate publicly traded company that would own nearly all of NiSource's natural gas transmission, midstream and storage assets (see Shale Daily, Feb. 9).

DEP said Columbia has agreed to pay the $150,000 settlement to the state's Clean Water Fund, which supports educational and environmental programs that benefit clean water efforts. The company will also pay an additional $21,500 to the PCCD for the cost of the investigation.

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