CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — State regulators have fined Southwest Gas Corp. $300,000 for a pair of natural gas leaks it was responsible for in Las Vegas last year.
Nevada Public Utilities Commission Chairman Joe Reynolds told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the fine approved Wednesday for violation of federal pipeline safety regulations is one of the highest the panel has ever assessed against a utility.
The first incident occurred in July 2016, when a Southwest Gas crew hit a pipeline with a backhoe, forcing the evacuation of 30 homes and loss of power to more than 3,500 customers.
Two months later a state transportation contractor hit a high-pressure steel gas main. Regulators determined Southwest Gas was responsible because it failed to maintain accurate maps of its gas facilities. Six customers lost power that time.
Southwest Gas didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.