Spectra: Faster than Expected Corrosion Led to Pipeline Blast

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Texas energy company says faster-than-expected corrosion caused a Pennsylvania natural gas pipeline blast that scorched 40 rural acres in April and badly burned a man whose home was destroyed.

Andy Drake with Houston-based Spectra Energy Corp. shared those findings at a public meeting Tuesday night in Salem Township, Westmoreland County. That’s where the pipeline burst April 29.

Drake says the area of pipeline that failed had minor corrosion during a 2012 inspection. But he says the company didn’t plan to inspect the line again until 2019 because officials anticipated corrosion would grow 2 to 3 percent annually. Instead, the line corroded at a rate of 10 to 15 percent.

The company now plans more frequent inspections.

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