Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

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The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is the State agency charged with regulating the safety of natural gas pipelines. According to a March, 2009 report, the Commission is requesting legislation that will give it authority to regulate non-public-utility natural gas pipelines such as those in use to gather and ship out natural gas coming from the Marcellus shale formation in Pennsylvania.

The Commission is asking for the authority to inspect producers' natural gas pipelines and levy fines for any safety violations. The iron and steel pipelines are subject to constant corrosion, breaking, leaking and wear and tear especially during the annual cycle of freezing and thawing in the winter. The gas exploration and production companies already have their own pipeline-infrastructure inspection and maintenance programs.

The Commission's Gas Safety Division presently only inspects and investigates home and business-connected natural gas pipelines that are operated by the public utilities.

  • James Cawley is PUC Chairman.
  • Jennifer Kocher is a spokesperson for the Commission.
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