Gas Company to Test Other Pipelines Near Blast in Western Pennsylvania

July 22, 2016

A federal agency has ordered a natural gas pipeline company to conduct additional assessments on three lines buried in western Pennsylvania, including one that has corrosion similar to a fourth line that blew up in April, scorching some 40 acres.

The Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said the other lines in Salem Township, Westmoreland County “potentially have been damaged or adversely affected” by the April 29 blast.

The new assessments could lead to pipeline upgrades.

Spectra Energy Corp. of Houston is cooperating with the investigation. Spokesman Creighton Welch said the order is “well-aligned” with Spectra’s plans to improve its Penn-Jersey pipeline system and that many items recommended in the report have been completed or begun.

Preliminary findings indicate a pipeline weld coated with tape failed, causing the explosion which leveled a nearby home in the rural township and badly burned its owner.

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