The northern Indiana utility NIPSCO will pay one of the highest fines in state history for natural gas pipeline safety violations. The state said the company failed to timely find or mark some of its pipelines — which could have caused natural gas explosions.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission ordered NIPSCO to pay more than $1.1 million for natural gas pipeline violations in 2018. The utility has had similar violations in the past.
“Maintaining a safe natural gas system is absolutely critical and one of the most important responsibilities we have as an energy provider," said Nichole DeMario, NIPSCO communications lead.
Among other things, DeMario said the company is working to ensure its maps are up-to-date and do more training on how to locate underground lines. Officials with the IURC declined to be interviewed.
NIPSCO has seen more damage to its pipelines this year as homeowners took on more projects due to "Stay-At-Home" orders. The company encourages people to call 8-1-1 at least two days before digging in their yard.
Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.