Evaluations stem from agreement between utility and state Department of Environmental Protection
Wilkes-Barre, PA (August 29, 2005) – PG Energy, a division of Southern Union Company (NYSE: SUG), in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (Department), will begin conducting initial environmental assessments this year on 10 owned properties in Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming and Montour counties. The properties are located in PG Energy’s service territories and likely were associated with manufacturing and/or the storage of manufactured gas.
Unlike natural gas, which is piped in from natural gas wells, manufactured gas was made through a process that converted coal and oil into “town gas,” which was then stored in large steel gas holders. Of the sites being assessed, only four were sites that manufactured gas while the other sites may have been used to store gas. One other site, in Scranton, was initially assessed in 2004 and continues to be evaluated. Additional assessment activities are planned for the Scranton site in 2005.
The company adds that in 1984, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted preliminary assessments of former MGP sites PG Energy owned and determined there were no environmental issues sufficient to require any further action or investigation. Meanwhile, the voluntary site assessments are being conducted with the Department under a multi-site agreement entered into by PG Energy in 2004. This agreement provides the framework for PG Energy and the Department to complete the assessment of the properties and, if necessary, provides for additional actions necessary to categorize and address manufactured gas plant-related media.
PG Energy believes that the multi-site agreement sets forth a method to prioritize and effectively manage the resources of PG Energy and the Department. The company considers these activities to be consistent with its ongoing commitment to the safety of its employees, the public and the environment. The Department has commended PG Energy for taking positive steps in preserving the environment.
For more information on the multi-site agreement, please visit www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/wm/REMSERV/msa/msahome.html. PG Energy, headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, is a natural gas operating division of Southern Union Company (NYSE: SUG). PG Energy serves approximately 158,000 customers in 13 counties throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania, including the cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport. PG Energy is committed to responsible environmental management, and is pleased to work with the PADEP toward a mutual goal of providing a cleaner environment for its communities.