Report: lack of inspectors leaves gas line oversight to utilities
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review analyzed data on distribution lines that deliver natural gas directly to consumers, and found a lack of regulatory oversight. The task of tracking leaks and problems often falls to the utilities which own and operate the lines.
Read the full report from the Tribune-Review here:
A Tribune-Review investigation found that state and federal regulators employ far too few inspectors — about 500 total — to cover the country’s 1.3 million miles of mains that distribute natural gas directly to customers. Nearly 500,000 leaks were reported on those lines last year.
The federal government has 135 inspectors responsible not only for those customer distribution lines but high-pressure, interstate transmission lines. Texas leads the nation with 48 inspectors; California is second with 35. But some states, like Delaware and North Dakota, have just one or two inspectors.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, which regulates about 48,000 miles of gas mains, has 12 inspectors.