The company responsible for a recent natural gas pipeline accident that spewed a hazardous substance outside a small Kansas town has since 2006 faced more than $270,000 in federal penalties for problems elsewhere along its pipelines.
A section of a Panhandle Eastern pipeline erupted June 19, spraying 1,300 gallons of natural gas condensate over a rural area near Olpe, Kansas, a town of about 550 residents south of Emporia. Natural gas condensate is a mix of natural gas and hydrocarbons, and typically contains toxic chemicals, including benzene, a carcinogen.
Federal records show the U.S. Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration fined Panhandle Eastern a total of $272,400 for violations in 2007 and 2012. No injuries were reported.
Panhandle Eastern spokeswoman Vicki Granado says the company follows pipeline safety regulations.