The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has approved nearly $900,000 in civil penalties to be paid by CenterPoint Energy Indiana for pipeline safety violations in 2019. The violations come after the utility, then known as Vectren, failed to locate or mark its pipelines in two days as required by its pipeline safety procedures.
All funds collected from approved civil penalties will go directly to the state’s general fund. The order states that, “Consistent with the Settlement Agreement, none of this penalty shall be recovered from Vectren’s customers.”
Under the Settlement agreement between Vectren and the commission’s Pipeline Safety Division, Vectren paid $736,000 for violations that occurred in 2017 and agreed to pay additional civil penalties for violations it may commit going forward. The commission says its Pipeline Safety Division and the utility agreed on the dollar amount for each violation Vectren commits in 2018 and 2019.
Vectren was directed to pay $584,000 for violations occurring in 2018.
The IURC’s Pipeline Safety Division has jurisdiction over intrastate pipelines operated and maintained by utilities such as Vectren.