The federal agency that oversees pipeline safety isn’t ready to allow NiSource-Columbia Gas to restart its line near Sissonville that ruptured and exploded last month.
During testimony at a congressional field hearing Monday in Charleston Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Administrator Cynthia Quarterman testified certain things must be done before the line is turned back on.
“The pipeline will not be placed back into service until we are absolutely satisfied with the restart plan of Columbia Gas Transmission,” she said. “When the pipeline is placed back into service it must operate at 20 percent pressure reduction until a series of tests and evaluations have been completed and reviewed by our engineers.”
Sissonville resident Sue Bonham told her emotional pipeline survival story again Monday. Bonham thought she was going to burn alive in her own home in the minutes after the Dec. 11 blast.
“I believed there was an earthquake or possibly a plane had crashed,” she remembered.
NiSource Executive Vice President and Group CEO Jimmy Staton also testified Monday. He told Senators Rockefeller and Joe Manchin that he vowed from beginning to do right and make things right for the people of Sissonville. Staton says that effort continues. The company has made good with several property owners along with Kanawha County and the state of West Virginia.