PHMSA Proposes $202,900 in Civil Penalties to National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation for Pipeline Safety Violations

PHSMA on Friday proposed $202,900 in civil penalties and issued a Notice of Probable Violation (NOPV) and a Proposed Compliance Order to National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation after completing its investigation of the natural gas pipeline failure that occurred on March 6, 2015 at the operator’s Beech Hill Compressor Station near Wellsville, New York.

The incident occurred when a start gas regulator for the compressors failed, which caused a pressure increase in the piping downstream of the regulator that exceeded the line’s maximum allowable operating pressure.

The NOPV describes four probable Federal pipeline safety violations, which include failing to ensure that each compressor station has pressure relief devices of sufficient capacity, insufficient procedures for analyzing accidents and failures, and failing to notify the National Response Center of the regulator failure and subsequent fire that required an emergency shutdown of the station within the required timeframe.