Ohio among ‘most aggressive’ for replacing old gas pipes

Source: Columbus Business First

Ohio is ahead of the curve when it comes to replacing old, underground natural gas pipes.

In a story about the huge number of leaks found in natural gas pipelines, the New York Times  focused on the “perilous state” of New York’s underground gas transportation network.

Many cities harbor old pipes with no immediate plans to replace them. When leaking, pipes can cause explosions such as the recent one in Harlem that killed eight people and is believed to have been caused by a leak.

The newspaper used Ohio as a contrast, calling it “among the most aggressive in the country” in replacing its old gas pipes.

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) and Dominion East Ohio Energy, which mostly serve Cincinnati and Cleveland, respectively, are singled out. Duke Energy’s leaks-per-miles ranks among the lowest in the U.S., according to the newspaper’s analysis.

Dominion East, for example, in 2007 began a 25-year, $2.7 billion program to replace 4,000 miles of natural gas pipeline.

There was no big accident to spur the state’s push, but regulators and gas companies felt that the typical 40-year pipe-replacement schedule was too slow.

“We felt that we needed to cut this in half, because 40 years was too long,” Donald Mason, a former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio commissioner, told the Times.