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Monday, July 1, 2013 - 7:00am

Utility Wants $275M For Pipeline Replacement

A natural gas distributor is seeking $275 million from its customers to replace aging plastic pipelines.

AGL Resources says the program is necessary to replace plastic pipelines installed from about 1965 to 1983. Utility officials say surveys show those pipes are leaking, though not at rates that immediately threaten the public.

AGL is a monopoly that owns the distribution pipelines in its service territory.

AGL Vice President David Weaver says the company and its customers get better prices when it replaces lots of infrastructure at once, rather than bit by bit. He says the utility should get ahead of problems rather than wait until pipes fail.

Former utility regulator Robert Baker says the burden of paying for the program falls more heavily on residential customers than commercial ones.

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