Gas Company Gets Approval For Pipeline Improvements

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The parent of Columbia Gas Transmission said it's won federal approval for a plan to spend $300 million a year through 2017 on improvements to its Appalachian pipeline system.

Indiana-based NiSource Inc. announced Friday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the plan for Columbia Gas Transmission's lines in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and Kentucky.

Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Staton said the $1.5 billion investment will help ensure safer, more reliable pipeline infrastructure for customers and the communities across the region.

The investments stem from a consumer settlement that is unrelated to the December explosion of a Columbia transmission line near Sissonville that destroyed several homes.

NiSource says it will also spend $100 million on maintenance, and its long-term plan is to invest about $4 billion over 10-15 years.