State, concerned over 88-year estimate, pressures Philly utility to speed gas main replacement

Associated Press

The state is pressuring Philadelphia Gas Works to speed up the replacement of aging, leaky gas mains after the city-owned utility said the process could take 88 years.

WHYY-FM's StateImpact project reports this week (http://n.pr/1KFqWwj ) that the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has opened a safety review of Philadelphia Gas Works' repair plan.

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Commission Chairman Rob Powelson says they're concerned about leak-prone cast iron and steel pipes that account for nearly two-thirds of PGW's gas mains.

The commission wants PGW to expedite the installation of plastic replacements. Powelson says they could force the city to put the $18 million it receives each year from the utility toward pipe replacement.

City council in November rejected a $1.86 billion bid for PGW from Connecticut-based UIL Holdings Corp.

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Information from: WHYY-FM, http://www.whyy.org