PROJECTpipes

Washington Gas Public Hearing held on February 6, 2019
 

Natural Gas Pipeline Safety is a Top Priority for the DCPSC

In January, the DCPSC began to receive letters of concern from District residents about natural gas leaks. To address the community’s concerns and the Mayor Bowser’s request to look into gas leak reporting requirements, the DCPSC hosted a community hearing to give the public an opportunity to gain insight into the safety measures employed by our local natural gas utility company, Washington Gas Light (WGL), and to receive comments regarding the dissemination of gas leak information to the community. The Office of the People’s Counsel provided opening comments, and representatives from WGL gave a presentation on how they manage gas leaks in the District. Community members also provided comments about their concerns about gas leaks in their neighborhoods and recommendations on how WGL can improve communication with the public about gas leaks.

The community hearing was well-attended, and the discussion was very productive. The DCPSC plans to host a follow-up hearing to provide updates on the recommendations.

To watch the community hearing, visit bit.ly/FC977CommunityHearing

WGL’s PROJECTpipes plan addresses a critical issue within the District’s aging gas distribution infrastructure which poses an operation risk to the gas utility, and potentially a safety risk to District residents. During the 40-year PROJECTpipes plan, WGL will replace approximately 23,600 bare and/or unprotected steel service segments, 29 miles of bare steel main gas pipes, 2 miles of targeted unprotected steel main gas pipes and all 428 miles of low-pressure cast-iron main gas pipes in the District.

Approved in five-year segments, WGL has filed its application for approval of the second five-year phase, as first-phase activities will end September 20, 2019. The application also includes a Consumer Education Plan. This education plan assures that residents will be notified and kept up to date about the construction activities occurring in their neighborhoods. Currently, the DCPSC’s Office of Consumer Services meets quarterly with WGL to ensure that the elements of the education plan are being adhered to, and that any consumer complaints associated with the construction activity are being expeditiously addressed and resolved.

The DCPSC is committed to the safety of all residents and will continue to work toward further improvement of the safety and reliability of the gas system in the District.

Click here to read more about PROJECTpipes.