Natural gas company pays $2500 fine for inspection violation

Feb 17, 2017

Public Service Commissioners Randy Christmann and Julie Fedorchak.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A natural gas company has paid a $2500 fine for a violation of pipeline safety laws.

Great Plains Natural Gas Company failed to follow a federal rule that says the pipeline must be checked for leaks every 15 months. The line in question runs from Hankinson to Fairmount.

Public Service Commission staff found the violation. Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said PSC pipeline inspectors work hand in hand with federal authorities to do these inspections.

"This system workw without fail almost 100 percent of the time," Fedorchak said. "It's something that exists in the background, ad we don't think about it -- least of all when we take a hot shower in the morning, made available by natural gas. But when something does go wrong, it could be fatal."

Fedorchak said natural gas utilities in North Dakota are usually very diligent about doing these required inspections.