Tag Archives: GA PSC

AGL report to PHMSA about Homerville, GA explosion, 2019-09-17

AGL’s report to PHMSA was so lacking that PHMSA added this comment box:

Please confirm these
injuries involved in-patient
overnight hospitalization.

Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) did mention hospitalization in its narrative on the last page, but even there did not use the terms “in-patient” or “overnight”, much less “third-degree burns” or “airlifted to the burn unit at Shands in Gainseville, Florida”.

[Please confirm these injuries involved in-patient overnight hospitalization.]
Please confirm these injuries involved in-patient overnight hospitalization.

But PHMSA’s comment is mild compared to GA-PSC staff’s more than $2 mllion recommended fine for “failure to properly investigate the damage which led to this explosion”. See previous WWALS blog post for that and other GA-PSC staff comments on this AGL Incident Report – Gas Distribution System to the U.S Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Agency (PHMSA), including:

Continue reading

AGL could face millions for blast 2019-04-03

On the front page of the newspaper of record in the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin, yesterday in the Valdosta Daily Times, is a story by Terry Richards about the GA-PSC report on the AGL pipeline and the August 2018 Homerville, GA explosion that destroyed a coffeeshop and sent three women to the hospital with third-degree burns.

[Front Page]

The VDT did a bit of reporting by contacting AGL and its contractor: Continue reading

GA-PSC report on AGL pipeline and Homerville August 2017 explosion 2019-03-29

Update 2019-04-04: Actually the gas did go through a sewer pipe; AGL didn’t locate or mark that pipe, either. And the GA-PSC report was on the front page yesterday of the newspaper of the largest city in the Suwannee River Basin.

Maybe the gas didn’t go up a sewer pipe to the coffee shop after all. And in its long-awaited report, Pipeline Safety at the Georgia Public Service Commission is not letting AGL hand the blame to its contractors. This recommended fine does not look like the previous slap on the wrist.

[Filed]

GA-PSC says AGL failed to locate and mark its pipeline in use and failed to locate “their abandoned natural gas facility at 107 Courtland Ave.,” which is the address of the Coffee Corner which blew up in August 2017 and sent three women to the hospital with third-degree burns.

The report gets worse:

PROBABLE VIOLATION: AGLC failed to consider the use of a valve to stop the flow of gas, or to check the surrounding buildings and confined areas, during the response to this incident, as required by their procedures.

But those are just in the first two items, which only got a $15,000 recommended fine each. The same $15,000 level of fine is recommended for AGL’s failures to test its personnel for drug or alcohol after the incident.

The big item, with a $2,245,000 fine, is for AGL failing Continue reading

Four months later, GA-PSC still investigating AGL pipeline Homervile explosion 2018-12-11

Two more months have passed, so I called Bill Edge to ask about progress on the GA-PSC’s investigation of the August 17, 2018, Homerville coffeeshop explosion resulting from AGL pipeline gas. Answer: still investigating, because so many parties are involved, and everyone has attorneys and disclosures to negotiate. He is quite aware many people would like to see a report.

I thanked him sincerely for his organization following up on this incident. He said it was their statutory duty. I said keep up the good work.

Meanwhile, here’s an example of the type of thing to expect:

Alleged Violation and Voluntary Contribution, Settlement Agreement

Whereas, AGL enters into this Settlement Agreement without admitting Continue reading

Pipeline Safety investigation of Homerville Explosion by GA-PSC 2018-11-05

What happened since the August 17th Homerville, GA coffee shop explosion resulting from a leak from an AGL natural gas pipeline, reported as far away as New Orleans, Louisiana and Atlanta, Georgia? The three women airlifted to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida got skin grafts and are recovering, according to occasional updates by one of them on facebook. Let’s all be thankful for their continued recovery.

The Georgia Public Service Commission is investigating the explosion, which may be a good thing, considering this is what the federal Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) knows about that AGL pipeline in Clinch County:

Map, Clinch County, Georgia, NPMS
PHMSA NPMS Public Viewer, Clinch County, Georgia, accessed 2018-11-05.

That’s right: PHMSA still doesn’t even show that pipeline exists, there’s no incident displayed, and apparently PHMSA’s map viewer no longer can even talk to google maps correctly.

Terry Richards, Valdosta Daily Times, 29 August 2018, PSC probing Homerville explosion, Continue reading

Utilities have Opportunity to lead in solar power –Suwannee Riverkeeper in VDT 2017-08-02

They ran the op-ed last week online, and today the Valdosta Daily Times (VDT) put it on top of page 5A:

Point of View, page 5A, VDT

This newspaper op-ed has already resulted in a call about a water issue.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Georgia Power has opportunities to lead in solar power –Suwannee Riverkeeper in VDT 2017-07-28

Op-ed in the Valdosta Daily Times today:

Thanks, VDT, for your Sunday solar story and editorial!

Your editorial’s “buyer beware” would better be directed towards the electric utilities, which set up the price mismatch that caused the problem for the customer in your story. The story says, citing John Kraft of Georgia Power, “The utility company offers to pay the producer only as much as it costs to produce solar power. If a utility company can produce solar energy at a solar farm for 5 cents per unit, it isn’t going to pay a residential producer a higher rate for energy it doesn’t need.”

We dont your coal ash in any landfill in the Suwannee River Basin --Suwannee Riverkeeper

If Georgia Power does not need new energy, why is it building two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle and charging its customers in advance every month? Four years ago Google already bought more sun and wind power than that nuclear boondoggle would produce if it’s ever finished, and for less than the Plant Vogtle cost overruns. Those cost overruns keep going up, and the cost of solar panels keeps going down.

The story says Kraft asks people why they want solar power. Maybe to Continue reading

WWALS and Sierra Club

WWALS and Suwannee-St Johns Group of Sierra Club Florida are cooperating on outings now, and Sierra Club Florida is holding a Rural Office opening in October.

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Historic solar financing bill started in GA PSC more than a year ago

Friday the Georgia Senate unanimously voted for a solar financing bill, and WWALS helped with that historic Georgia turn to the sun for power, which will conserve our waters, including helping fight off invading pipelines.

Back in June 2013, Garry Gentry read to the Georgia Public Service Commission the WWALS letter about water and solar power (I also spoke), contributing to the historic GA PSC decision that July to require Georgia Power to add 525 MW of solar power, approximately doubling its request. A decision that catapulted Georgia in one year Continue reading

Solar passed GA PSC!

We (the people) won!

WWALS helped by writing a letter to GA PSC, reading it to them, and asking Commissioner Everett to vote for it. He did, and Georgia Power is now required to buy more than twice as much solar power. Details here.

-jsq