Six Months Later, PGW Will Fix Gas Leak for Frustrated Neighbors - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Six Months Later, PGW Will Fix Gas Leak for Frustrated Neighbors

Neighbors along Grays Ferry Avenue in Center City have been dealing with the smell of natural gas and fears that come along with that for months. NBC10 Investigator Mitch Blacher was there as the gas company -- PGW -- got to work on a commitment to fix two miles of aged pipes. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015)

Concerns over natural gas on a Philadelphia street has Philadelphia Gas Works replacing a two mile long gas distribution line. The line beneath Grays Ferry Avenue in Center City has been the subject of repeated reports by the NBC 10 Investigators.

Residents reported the latest leak in August.

"One of the joints on a natural gas main in that area had become a little bit loose and some gas had leaked out from that,” PGW spokeswoman Barry O’Sullivan said.

The August leak marked the third time since February the NBC 10 Investigators documented repairs after the smell of gas on Grays Ferry Avenue was reported.

“It took exactly as long as it needed to take,” O’Sullivan said when asked why it took more than six months for PGW to commit to a permanent repair.

PGW’s spokesman said the utility had been monitoring Grays Ferry Avenue every 48 hours since February when the NBC 10 Investigators first asked about the small of gas.

“They go away and they don’t come back until someone gets their attention, like you guys,” Grays Ferry Avenue resident David Biando said.

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission has called Philadelphia’s network of gas lines some of the most fragile in the state. According to the PUC more than 1,500 miles of the system are made of antiquated cast iron. PGW has an 88 year plan to replace all 3,000 miles of its gas network and is preparing a plan to expedite replacement in half that time

“Hopefully these major issues are on PGW’s radar and it’s a high priority for them because as soon as it’s brought to the PUC’s attention it is a high priority,” PUC spokeswoman Robin Tilley said.

PGW says the city’s overall gas network has been and continues to be safely operated and maintained.

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