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Opinion >  Letters

Calming Avista concerns

I believe the Sept. 25 article “Avista replacing gas lines” created unfounded concern regarding some of Avista’s natural gas pipeline system. Avista has a strong history of safety. Our top priority is safety for customers, the public and employees.

In the late 1960s through 1980s, Avista installed some early vintage polyethylene pipe known as Aldyl-A, which can be more prone to cracking than plastic pipe manufactured today. However, Aldyl-A pipe is safe if installed and maintained properly.

Avista’s Aldyl-A pipeline replacement program was initiated by Avista and not by pipeline safety regulators. Avista is investing over $300 million through a prioritized program to replace this legacy pipe. We’ve increased monitoring frequencies to identify any gas leakage and we heavily odorize our natural gas to help customers identify any possible gas leaks.

Finally, natural gas safety is a shared responsibility. One of our biggest safety challenges comes from customers and contractors who accidently dig into our natural gas pipes. A backhoe can damage any type of gas pipeline material. Please call 811 before you dig so that our pipelines can be located and identified prior to construction.

Michael Faulkenberry

Avista, Director of Natural Gas

Spokane


 

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