Statement of John Walsh – Chief Executive Officer, UGI Utilities: Activity Update
18 Feb 2011
We continue to conduct an intensive investigation in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and local authorities into the explosion that occurred on February 9th in the neighborhood around Allen and North 13th Street in Allentown.
Since our crews identified a break in the 12-inch main near Allen and 13th Streets last weekend, we have removed the affected section of pipeline and have sent it for forensic testing at an expert, independent lab to make final determinations about the break and its potential causes. In the meantime, our investigation is continuing at the site. As an extra measure of security, our crews continue surveys of the neighborhood on a 24/7 basis in order to make sure it remains safe.
As new data and findings become available, we are sharing them with the Public Utility Commission as part of our investigation plan. In addition, to ensure members of the community have ready access to facts and information regarding this incident, UGI has launched a dedicated website, www.ugiresponse.com. The website contains fact sheets, copies of company statements and letters regarding the incident and the ongoing investigation, and links to other sites where additional information is available.
By early next week, all fact sheets and statements on the website will also be posted in Spanish-language versions. We will post updates and new information to the website on an ongoing basis. Residents seeking additional information regarding this incident can continue to contact us at 800-276-2722.
Meanwhile, our work at the site continues. Earlier this week, UGI crews began the first of several projects to replace gas mains in the area. While our continuing surveillance has shown the area is safe, we are proceeding with an abundance of caution due to the increase in construction activity in the vicinity. The gas main replacement work should be completed by late March.
We also continue to support our community. On Wednesday, UGI met with Mayor Pawlowski and provided financial support to assist in defraying costs incurred by the City of Allentown. Also this week, we conducted home safety inspections of gas lines and appliances for those in the immediate area of the incident, and provided a founding grant to the Allentown Family Fund established by The United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. In addition, UGI employees are establishing an employee fund to support the affected families. We continue to reach out to affected residents to fullyunderstand and address their needs.
Safety is always our focus at UGI – the safety of our customers, communities and employees. We will continue to take action to keep our customers safe and secure.