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3 Ind. gas utilities face pipeline safety fines

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana's utility commission is fining three of the state's largest natural gas companies for safety violations involving their underground pipelines.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission says Northern Indiana Public Service Co., Vectren and Citizens Gas didn't follow procedures and keep accurate pipeline records.

The commission says it started the review after the 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, Calif., that destroyed 38 houses and killed eight people. The three Indiana utilities face a total of $180,000 in fines and orders to fix the violations that resulted in pipelines not being found as is required under "Call Before You Dig" laws.

Vectren spokeswoman Chase Kelley tells the Evansville Courier & Press the company will thoroughly review the IURC's order and that it takes state and federal pipeline regulations very seriously.