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Maine gas utility will be fined $50K for safety problems

March 10, 2020 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine regulators are going to fine a gas utility $50,000 for failures to meet safety requirements.

The company, Maine Natural Gas of Brunswick, is a subsidiary of Avangrid, which also owns Central Maine Power. Maine Natural Gas delivers pipeline gas to 4,800 customers in the state.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission’s staff identified quality assurance and quality control lapses starting in 2017, the Portland Press Herald reported. For example, a February 2019 inspection found the company did not follow operations and maintenance requirements to manage active leaks in Augusta and Windham, the commission found.

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The utility has entered into a consent agreement with the commission’s gas safety manager that includes paying the fine and agreeing to remediation.

Avangrid spokesman Edward Crowder told the Press Herald the company was already aware of problems when the violation notice was issued. The utility was working with the utilities commission to remedy the problems, Crowder said.

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This story has been corrected to eliminate a sentence that said Maine Natural Gas is a subsidiary of Central Maine Power. The two utilities share a parent company, Avangrid.