PUC fines Summit Natural Gas $25,000 for safety violations

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PORTLAND — Summit Natural Gas has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine to resolve safety violations found by the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

The Portland Press-Herald reports that the settlement was part of a consent agreement filed last week. Documents show the company was accused, among other things, of using contractors without proper qualifications to install natural gas pipelines.

The PUC’s gas safety manager had recommended a $100,000 fine.

Stacey Pitts, the company’s governmental and regulatory affairs director, defended Summit’s safety record and said only a small number of workers lacked the proper qualifications.

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Other violation notices are still pending, including one in which the PUC says Summit damaged sewer lines in more than two dozen places while installing gas mains. The agency has recommended a $150,000 fine in that case.

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