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PUCO staff recommends a half-million dollar fine for Dominion East Ohio
Report says the gas utility failed state policies and its own guidelines in Fairport Harbor explsion a year ago

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:

The staff of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is recommending a half-million dollar fine against Dominion East Ohio Gas for the explosions that did more than a million dollars damage to Fairport Harbor a year ago.

SCHULTZE Fairport explosion conclusions

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The PUCO says Dominion’s gas lines failed in both design and operation on Jan. 24, 2011. That’s when fluids and other substances jammed the regulators are supposed to reduce the pressure of gas flowing into homes, causing the gas to shoot into the homes and triggering a dozen explosions and fires.

No one was injured, but the damage to a dozen homes and businesses came to $1.3 million. 

Matt Butler of the PUCO says the company violated several sections of state pipeline safety regulations, as well as its own procedures.

 “Several design and operation failures allowed fluid to form in the regulator station there in town that caused the two pressure regulators to fail. And that then led to over-pressurization of the lines through town, which caused appliances to fail and then the fires to take place.”

 The PUCO staff report recommends that Dominion pay a 500,000 fine, and come up with a plan to detect and remove fluids from its pipeline system.  

Last week, the PUCO fined Duke Energy for an explosion in southwest Ohio caused when a crew incorrectly reconnected gas to an apartment building.







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