Local/State

UGI: Gas line replacement could take 40 years

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Allentown explosion

The Pennsylvania utility company connected to last month's fatal natural gas explosion says it could take 40 years to replace the rest of its aging, cast-iron pipelines.

UGI Vice President Robert Beard told a state Senate panel on Tuesday that at its current pace the utility would need four decades to replace the old pipes, some of which are a century old.

Beard called the timeline "reasonable" but said the investigation into the February 9 blast could accelerate the utility's efforts.

Last month's explosion and fire rocked an Allentown neighborhood, killing five people including an elderly couple and a 4-month-old boy.

Officials suspect a cracked piece of cast-iron pipe is to blame for the blast. Beard says that pipe was not a candidate for "accelerated replacement."

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pennsylvania, allentown, gas leak, explosion, local/state
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