City Considers Using Private Companies to Repair and Replace Philly’s Oldest Gas Mains

Philadelphia City Council is considering using private companies to repair and replace more than 1,500 miles of the city’s oldest gas mains.

Weeks after the NBC 10 Investigators revealed safety concerns over Philadelphia Gas Works 88 year gas main replacement plan, council held a hearing to solicit ideas.

The hearing comes months after council rejected a $1.8 billion dollar sale offer from The United Illuminating Company. UIL claimed in memos to city staff and in news releases it would replace the city’s riskiest gas mains in fewer than 44 years.

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"I resent people thinking we're the problem," Councilwoman Marian Tasco said.

As chairwoman of the Philadelphia Gas Commission, Tasco chose to stand by PGW’s 88 year gas main replacement schedule.

"There was no discussion about main replacement, none, none, none, none," she said when asked about the UIL deal she and council rejected.

Tasco said none of UIL’s public commitments to replace gas mains were legally binding. A UIL spokesman said it was because council members never allowed negotiations to get that far.

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