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Complaint filed against UGI Utilities alleging violations in connection with July 2017 deadly house explosion

Lancaster County — The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission filed a complaint Thursday against UGI Utilities alleging violations in connection with the deadly gas explosion in July 2017.

On the 2nd of that month, utility crews were investigating a reported gas leak on the property of a residence in the 200 block of Springdale Lane in Manor Township when the home exploded. As a result of the blast, one UGI worker was killed and three others were injured (two additional UGI workers and a PA One employee). Two other homes were condemned for demolition because of the explosion.

The complaint includes 19 counts of alleged violations pertaining to the Pennsylvania Code and Code of Federal Regulators: failure to maintain procedures directed toward the prioritization of protecting life and property, and eliminating hazards, use of inadequate procedures as they do not specifically require or address searching for a gas leak in the basements or crawl spaces and the UGI dispatcher’s failure to notify the National Response Center of the explosion at the earlier practicable moment.

It’s proposed in the complaint that UGI pays a civil penalty of just over $2 million. (A civil penalty of $209,002 per violation – 19 – was to be proposed but the total – $3,971,038 – exceeded the statutory maximum.)

The complaint also calls for UGI to perform corrective actions. Some of which include: the construction of a training facility to qualify workers using UGI procedures, providing and facilitating education programs with each fire department located in the service territory, the revision of procedures resulting in the evacuation of all structures with detectable gas, the immediate shutdown of electric and gas supply, and conducting quarterly leak surveys on all plastic mains that may contain plastic mechanical tapping tees and provide provide the reports to the I&E Safety Division for a period of five years.

The full list of violations — in detail — and corrective actions can be found here.