UGI to pay $200,000 fine for 2011 explosion
UGI Utilities Inc. will pay $200,000 as part of a settlement resulting from a state investigation of an October 2011 gas explosion in Millersville, the Public Utility Commission said today.
The commission voted 5-0 at its meeting today to approve the settlement, which also mandates changes to UGI’s protocols regarding underground lines and emergency response.
“Civil penalties cannot be recovered from ratepayers and are paid to the state’s general fund,” the PUC said in a statement.
The incident in question occurred when a fiber optic contractor digging at Manor Avenue and Shertzer Lane ruptured a UGI gas main, according to the PUC and news reports. Gas filled several nearby structures, leading to a blast that damaged a house and business and caused about $455,000 in damage, the agency said.
An investigation found that UGI had not marked its lines properly nor provided adequately for a rapid shut-off of pressure, the PUC said.
The settlement calls for UGI to retrain its line locators and first responders and improve its valve classification and line location screening systems, among other changes.
UGI initially denied responsibility for the accident, blaming the drilling company, according to press reports. A call seeking comment this afternoon was not immediately returned.
UGI Utilities Inc. is a subsidiary of UGI Corp., which is based in Valley Forge.