National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) have reached a settlement agreement in the Aug. 21, 2004 gas explosion in Sandy Township, PA, that destroyed a home and left two residents dead.

The settlement agreement ends an informal investigation into the gas explosion, which resulted from a leak in a gas line, the PUC said.

Under terms of the settlement, National Fuel agreed to pay a $50,000 fine, fund an additional $30,000 of safety-related activities for its system and committed to undertake system improvements costing more than $1.8 million. National Fuel agreed to modify its operating procedures and accelerate an ongoing plastic pipe leakage survey of its Pennsylvania system. The company has also retrained and tested its plastic fusion work crew members.

The PUC has given interested parties 20 days to comment on the settlement agreement and will issue a final determination on the settlement at an upcoming public meeting.

National Fuel serves about 210,000 natural gas customers in 14 Pennsylvania counties.

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