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Monday, April 4, 2011 - 11:23am

Government Spotlights Pipeline Safety

Georgia is assessing its aging network of oil and natural gas pipelines. It comes as the federal government announces tougher oversight of underground pipelines nationwide. The goal is to save lives.

In September of 2010 a worker was killed when a natural gas line exploded in Cairo in South Georgia. The proposed changes come following similar accidents across the U.S.

The new standards would increase fines, close loopholes, and strengthen reporting of safety risks. Bill Edge with the Georgia Public Service Commission says Georgia has eight inspectors.

“In 2009 these inspectors inspected over 78-thousand miles of pipes transporting natural gas to Georgia customers. Each inspector is responsible for nearly 10-thousand miles of pipe.”

Edge says Georgia is ahead when it comes to repairs. In 1998 the state ordered Atlanta Gas Light to repair 27-hundred miles of corroding pipeline. The work should be completed by 2015.