New Jersey Working to Reduce Rate of Dangerous Gas Leaks
Gas leaks are extremely dangerous and can lead to major, even fatal, explosions. Fortunately, in New Jersey, this outcome has been rare in the past 10 years, even though it has an extremely high risk of gas leaks.
The state is attempting to remedy gas leak issues.
About Faulty Pipes And Their Repairs
There are only four gas companies in the state of New Jersey: New Jersey Natural Gas, Elizabethtown Gas Co., Public Service Electric and Gas co, and South Jersey Gas Co.
New Jersey’s gas leak incidents are incredibly high, occurring on average at 71.5 miles per every 1,000 miles. The U.S. average is only 35.2 miles per every 1,000 miles.
It is important to note that some companies include over ground leaks as well as the usual underground in their reports and that this is the reason for such high ratings. An example of this is Elizabethtown Gas Co. from northern New Jersey, whose leak rate is 97.3 for every 1,000 miles. According to spokesperson Tami Gerke, 70% of these leaks are over ground.
Some companies, such as the Board of Public Utilities, may even take excavation accidents out of their gas leak reports.
Gas leaks occur due to a variety of reasons including excavation accidents, old age of the pipes, and due to the material the pipes are made of or coated with.
New Jersey pipes which are older had more gas leaks than the national average according to U.S. data.
Approximately 17% of New Jersey pipeline is classified as the most hazardous kind, the U.S. is at 7%. This means 6,437 miles of cast iron and bare steel pipeline exists in New Jersey, which has found to be the most hazardous type of pipeline.
All N.J. utility companies are currently working on replacing the old iron cast or bare metal pipelines with new plastic or steel pipes that have a protective coating. Steel pipelines are being replaced at 3.3 percent a year. It is estimated that the full replacement of the pipes will take 30 years.
Iron cast pipelines are being replaced at a much faster rate. Full replacement is estimated at 16 years.
Utility companies are working on speeding up the replacement process.
The last major pipeline explosion happened in Edison, near the Durham Woods Apartments, on March of 1994. No one was killed; however, over 100 were injured. The accident left 128 families homeless as 8 apartment buildings were destroyed.
In the last 10 years, only one person has died as a result of a natural gas explosion in New Jersey.