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National Grid faces fines over moratorium; Ky. gas blast investigation advances


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National Grid faces fines over moratorium; Ky. gas blast investigation advances

New York threatens fines over National Grid gas moratorium, orders gas hookups

New York regulators threatened millions of dollars in fines against National Grid USA and ordered the company to immediately restore service to more than 1,000 downstate customers impacted by an ongoing moratorium on gas hookups. The order stems from the New York Department of Public Service's investigation into reports that National Grid refused to reconnect existing customers who had suspended service prior to the start of the moratorium.

Investigation into deadly Texas Eastern gas pipeline blast takes shape

The National Transportation Safety Board issued its first preliminary report on the deadly gas pipeline blast along the Texas Eastern Transmission LP system that rocked Lincoln County, Ky., in August. The board's ongoing investigation into the blast will focus on system operator Enbridge Inc.'s past inspections and maintenance on the line as well as the company's emergency isolation measures and how it classified the area where the accident occurred, the agency said Oct. 8.

Mass. regulators put restrictions on NiSource utility after gas leak

State regulators have barred Columbia Gas of Massachusetts from performing most construction work within its service territory until it receives explicit approval, placing new restrictions on the NiSource Inc. subsidiary after the company discovered deficiencies in its Merrimack Valley disaster restoration project. The state agency recently opened investigations into the yearlong restoration project after finding that aspects of the work did not comply with state and federal regulations or company procedures.

Kinder Morgan's Permian Highway line clears hurdle with Texas city's approval

A proposed pipeline project to take 2 Bcf/d of natural gas from the Permian Basin to the Texas Gulf Coast made it through an obstacle when the central Texas city of Kyle approved an agreement to allow developer Kinder Morgan Inc. to build the line within the city's boundaries. In exchange for an exemption from the ordinance, Kinder Morgan agreed to pay the city $2.7 million in two separate payments and to cooperate with the city on future infrastructure projects the city might plan along the pipeline path.

Mountain Valley Pipeline to pay Virginia $2.15M to settle environmental suit

Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC agreed to pay a $2.15 million fine and submit to court-supervised compliance with environmental protections to settle a lawsuit brought by Virginia's attorney general over the developer's alleged environmental violations. Under the consent decree, Mountain Valley will also pay for additional monitoring of erosion control measures, as well as for closer watch over the well-being of fisheries and wildlife in the work area, according to an Oct. 11 release.

NJ regulator denies PennEast Pipeline permit request amid eminent domain ruling

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on Oct. 8 denied and closed PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC's application for several permits for a section of its proposed 116-mile natural gas pipeline. Based on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit's Sept. 10 order, PennEast's application cannot be considered "administratively complete," because its authority to submit an application for the project has not been demonstrated, according to a letter from the regulator.

Report: Enbridge offers Wis. tribe at least $24M to settle suit over Line 5

In an attempt to settle a lawsuit that seeks to decommission Enbridge Inc.'s Line 5 crude oil pipeline and remove it from a Chippewa reservation, the company offered the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa at least $24 million, Wisconsin Public Radio reported Oct. 9. The tribe has not yet responded to the offer, but the news outlet quoted a statement from Tribal Chairman Mike Wiggins that said its position was unchanged.