The PUCO has ordered Dominion East Ohio pay a $500,000 fine and take steps to ensure compliance with federal natural gas pipeline safety standards following last year's fires and explosions.
FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio - Dominion East Ohio Gas said that explosions and fires in Fairport Harbor Jan. 24 were the result of over pressurization of the system.
The company issued its preliminary report Wednesday to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the United States Department of Transportation, in accordance with state and federal regulatory requirements.
The report said the reason for the over pressurization at the High Street District Regulation Station has not yet been determined and the investigation is on-going.
The regulators that control the natural gas pressure, and associated equipment involved, have been taken to the Gas Technology Institute, for further examination and investigation. GTI is a not-for-profit research and development organization, in Chicago, which was selected by agreement of all parties' representatives.
"The safety of all of our customers and the integrity of our natural gas system remain paramount," said Anne E. Bomar, senior vice president and general manager, Dominion East Ohio. "The company is completing inspections of all of its facilities in Fairport Harbor. While we have largely finished immediate restoration efforts, some work continues and will be completed as soon as possible. We are working closely with the mayor and the village administrator to ensure they are aware of our progress, and we will continue to do so."
Dominion East Ohio also continues to work with residents affected by the incident to ensure their wellbeing. To date, the company has estimated the amount of real estate and personal property damages to be approximately $1.2 million in costs related to the Fairport Harbor incident.
Fairport Fires Coverage
A year ago Tuesday, a major gas leak caused more than a million dollars in damage to a Lake County community. Now, the company responsible is facing fines.
Residents are still getting their lives back together a year after natural gas fires tore through dozens of buildings in northeast Ohio.
Gas company officials said too much pressure in the line caused a series of fires and explosions in Fairport Harbor in Lake County Monday morning, prompting a town-wide evacuation.