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The Revolution natural gas pipeline is back in service, 2 1/2 years after it exploded in Center Township, Beaver County.

Texas-based Energy Transfer Corp. owns and operates the pipeline. ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC, a subsidiary of the company, came to a consent order and agreement (COA) with the state Department of Environmental Protection on Feb. 26 to return it to service on March 1.

The company will pay a civil fine of $125,000 as part of the agreement.

A landslide, according to DEP, caused the 24-inch pipeline to slide down a hill on Sept. 10, 2018. This happened in an area where heavy rain had fallen and landslides had previously occurred. The pipeline, at that time, had been in service for about a week.

Gas ignited, creating a fire that, according to DEP, “burned several acres of forested areas; destroyed a single-family home, a barn, and numerous vehicles; resulted in the evacuation of nearby residents; and caused six high voltage electric transmission towers to collapse.”

DEP exacted a record $30.6 million civil penalty against Energy Transfer following the incident.

The pipeline is a 40 1/2-mile long gathering pipeline, one that secures gas from Beaver and Butler counties and ships it to an Energy Transfer processing plant in Washington County.

DEP decided in November to not allow the company to restart the pipeline. Energy Transfer appealed and the settlement was reached, clearing the way for the restart last week.

The consent order and agreement, according to an email from DEP, “addresses the construction and monitoring of steep slopes along the pipeline right of way.”

The company, according to the agency, has installed a sufficient number of safety precautions. They include new drainage infrastructure and groundwater and slope monitors to stabilize the ground under the pipeline route. Energy Transfer also must take measures in certain areas of the route to stabilize land above the pipeline.

Money from the $125,000 penalty will go into the state Oil and Gas Program Fund.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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