The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved a nearly $2 million settlement tied to an affiliate of Energy Transfer LP’s natural gas pipeline failure and fire in 2018.
PUC said the 3-0 vote resolves an investigation by the Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (I&E) conducted following the event on the affiliate Energy Transfer Co. (ETC)-operated Revolution Pipeline in Center Township in Beaver County.
PUC said the Revolution incident released more than 3 MMcf of natural gas and caused a fire. It noted the fire burned for several hours, destroying a house, garage, several electric transmission lines and towers, and burning several acres of woodland.
The Revolution incident in 2020 had led to a “historic” $30.6 million fine for ETC following the explosion in Western Pennsylvania.
The latest settlement would require ETC to pay Pennsylvania a $1 million civil penalty within 30 days and implement about $975,000 worth of safety-related measures, PUC said. PUC noted the measures include adding pipeline start-up procedures, incorporating preconstruction research into pipeline design and performing in-line inspections on Revolution before its start-up or operations date and on multiple occasions annually.
Other safety requirements in the settlement include notifying the I&E of any slope affecting pipeline integrity, enhancing procedures to monitor Revolution’s right of way and implementing a quality assurance/quality control program for siting and constructing ETC’s gas and hazardous liquids pipelines.
“As the second-leading natural gas producing state in the United States, Pennsylvania depends on pipelines like Revolution to get natural gas to market,” said spokesperson Kurt Knaus of the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance (PEIA). “This mutually accepted and unanimously approved settlement agreement is entirely comprehensive, backed by science and engineering reviews, and absolutely necessary to ensure the safe, responsible development of our energy sector.”
PEIA said several members had voiced support for the proposed settlement during PUC’s public comment period last summer. The organization’s members include local chambers of commerce, unions, propane businesses and other entities.
Earlier this year, ETC won approval to restart service on Revolution from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection after addressing concerns related to slope stability that the regulator had expressed in late 2020.
When it unveiled the Revolution project in 2015, ETC said the $1.5 billion pipeline and processing system would link to the Midwest, Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions as well as the Philadelphia area.
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