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Explosion on pipeline that feeds Rover adds to Energy Transfer's Pa. troubles

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Explosion on pipeline that feeds Rover adds to Energy Transfer's Pa. troubles

Pennsylvania investigators are looking into the cause of a Sept. 10 explosion and fire north of Pittsburgh on Energy Transfer Partners LP's newly opened Revolution gas pipeline, which feeds into the Rover pipeline.

No one was injured in the blast, which destroyed a house, a barn and several vehicles in Center Township, Beaver County, but the blast followed a string of accidents and incidents on the company's, or ETP's, Pennsylvania projects, including Rover Pipeline LLC and the Mariner East 1 and 2 NGL pipelines.

"This incident, which occurred at approximately 5 a.m. Eastern time, was detected by our monitoring system, which triggered the closing of valves to isolate the line," ETP said in a statement. "By around 7 a.m., the fire on the pipeline had extinguished itself. There were evacuations from several homes in the area."

ETP said it found evidence of a landslide in the area of the 100-mile pipeline, which acts as a header for numerous systems that gather gas from wells for delivery into the interstate Rover line.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission said its investigators were at the scene soon after the explosion and were coordinating in the late afternoon with local first responders to get access to the scene.

According to the PUC, several high-voltage electric transmission lines were affected by the explosion. The commission said it is communicating with First Energy Corp. and Duquesne Light Co. to reroute power around the scene.

The Revolution explosion is the latest in a string of incidents that have resulted in fines and construction suspensions on ETP's Pennsylvania projects. At one point in spring, a PUC administrative law judge halted all work on ETP affiliate Sunoco Pipeline LP's Mariner East family of pipelines and accused ETP of valuing speed over safety. ETP has also run afoul of Pennsylvania's environmental regulators and was assessed $12.6 million in fines for spilling drilling fluids in to wetlands and streams.