State regulators fine utility $900K for pipeline violations


EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Indiana regulators have fined CenterPoint nearly $900,000 for natural gas pipeline violations the utility previously known as Vectren committed in 2019.

The $894,000 civil penalty is part of CenterPoint’s settlement agreement with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for failing to locate or mark its pipelines within two days of gas line excavations.

The IURC said those procedures include accurately marking those pipelines and contacting the excavator within those two working days, Evansville Courier & Press reported.

It is not the first time CenterPoint has paid a fine for pipeline violations. Last year, the utility paid a $584,000 fine for violations from 2018, while in 2018 it paid $736,000 for violations that happened in 2017.

As part of an October 2018 settlement agreement with the IURC’s Pipeline Safety Division for the 2017 pipeline safety violations, CenterPoint agreed to pay civil penalties for any future violations it may commit.

The penalty payments go into Indiana’s general fund and CenterPoint is not allowed to recover them from customers, the IURC said.

CenterPoint said in a statement about the penalty that it is “committed to continuing to work with customers, excavators, emergency responders, peer utilities and elected officials on the importance of safe digging.”

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