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Pipeline Still at Risk Near Marshall County Explosion Site

MOUNDSVILLE — The federal agency in charge of investigating a Marshall County pipeline explosion in June has said the pipeline is at risk of another catastrophic event if the company that owns the pipeline does not take corrective action.

In a Notice of Proposed Safety Order dated July 9, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration lists 13 points of proposed corrective actions that it said TransCanada Corp. must take to avoid a similar explosion. The PHMSA wrote, “…it appears that the continued operation of the Affected Segment, without corrective measures, poses a pipeline integrity risk to public safety, property, and the environment.”

According to the order, TransCanada and its subsidiary, Columbia Gas Transmission LLC, has identified six additional areas of concern along the 130-mile pipeline that runs from Majorsville, Pennsylvania, to Crawford, Ohio. The company said that the areas of concern were a result of large spoil piles, steep slopes and indications of slips.

The investigation into the failure of that pipeline at a point about 7 miles south of Moundsville is ongoing, the administration said.

The 36-inch gas transmission pipeline failed on a weld early in the morning of June 7. It sent a fireball into the air that could be seen as far as 50 miles away, according to reports from the time of the explosion. The area where the pipeline failed, known as Nixon Ridge, is rural and isolated. There were no reports of injuries, fatalities or evacuations.

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