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Regulators Propose $325G Fine for Pipeline

July 16, 2004

PHOENIX (AP) _ A company whose gas pipeline broke last summer, causing a shutdown that led to shortages in the Phoenix area, would be fined $325,000 for separate safety violations under a proposal by federal regulators.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners was cited for 11 violations in inspections in 2003, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Special Programs Administration said Thursday.

The violations included failure to explain why older, welded pipes and the potential for cracking were excluded as risk factors in company safety planning.

An administrative judge must decide whether to approve the fine.

Kinder Morgan is undergoing a separate investigation for a fuel line break in Tucson last July that spewed nearly 33,000 gallons of gasoline. The shutdown of the line caused widespread fuel shortages in the Phoenix area. The break was caused by cracking from corrosion in the line.

Kinder Morgan plans to review the proposed order. The company has already addressed some of the concerns, said Thomas Bannigan, president of Kinder Morgan Products Pipelines.

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