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PUCO staff says better maintenance may have prevented explosions
Dominion failed to check mulitple regulators for the fluids that prevented proper functioning
by WKSU's VALERIE BROWN


Reporter
Valerie Brown
 

A Public Utilities Commission of Ohio director says better maintenance by Dominion East Ohio may have prevented a series of explosions and fires in a Cleveland suburb a year ago.

A failed pressure regulator for a natural gas pipeline in Fairport Harbor caused 1 point 3 million dollars in damage to properties—including six houses and a dozen buildings.

John Williams is with the service monitoring and enforcement department of PUCO. He says water and other fluids collected in the pit that housed the regulator and prevented it  from functioning properly.

PUCO's John Williams talks about maintenance problems at Dominion East Ohio


Williams: “It should have been designed differently from the start. And secondly—from a maintenance standpoint—once fluids were discovered in this adjacent facility, they should have made the link that there was the possibility for fluids to be in this other facility as well.”

Williams says because Dominion designed the regulator, it is unlikely a similar problem will happen with regulators owned by other gas suppliers.

The PUCO staff has recommended a half million dollar fine for Dominion, and the board will issue an official ruling on the incident by the end of the year.

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