Record fine slapped on El Paso Corp.

el_paso_wyoming_pipeline_explosion_2006 Emergency workers survey the damage after a bulldozer operator accidentally struck a natural gas pipeline causing an explosion and fire near Cheyenne, Wyo. in Nov. 2006. (AP Photo/Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Larry Brinlee)

Houston-based pipeline giant El Paso Corp. was fined $2.3 million by federal regulators in connection with a 2006 explosion that killed a worker in Wyoming.

El Paso and its Colorado Interstate Gas Co. unit received the civil penalty after an investigation into a 2006 pipeline explosion that killed a construction worker in Laramie, Wyoming. The Transportation Department determined that El Paso hadn’t followed regulations for locating and marking buried pipelines.

Here’s a copy of the Department of Transportation’s release on the fine,
The worker was operating a bulldozer for Kinder Morgan Inc. Rockies Express project that ran adjacent to El Paso’s natural gas line.
El Paso said it doesn’t agree with all of the government’s findings, as the “complexity of the facts” of the explosion weren’t all considered, company spokesman Richard Wheatley told Bloomberg.
“It essentially fails to take into account the serious errors of the constructing pipeline company and its contractors,” he said.
Since the accident El Paso has developed and implemented an agreement to provide guidelines on marking pipelines, sharing operating data and maps between incumbent pipelines and new infrastructure builders, Wheatley said.

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