7 Investigates: ETX pipeline operator fined twice in past five years
Fire crews blocked roads around the site of Tuesday's pipeline explosion due to the gas still lingering in the area. (Source: KLTV)
Federal investigators fined Enbridge in 2010 for a hydrogen sulfide leak that killed one worker and poisoned six others. (Source: KSLA)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
A pipeline system that was the site of a fatal explosion Tuesday has been fined twice in the past five years, according to federal documents.
Tuesday's explosion of a natural gas pipeline killed an East Texas man who was reportedly mowing at the site when he somehow struck the pipeline.
KLTV 7 Investigates has learned the owner/operator of the 12-inch pipeline, Enbridge, has been fined twice in the past five years by the United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
According to OSHA records, a complaint was investigated June 2012 at Enbridge's East Texas division in Henderson. Investigators found violations of general requirements and safety management of highly-hazardous materials. OSHA defines the safety management regulations as "requirements for preventing or minimizing the consequences of catastrophic releases of toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive chemicals. These releases may result in toxic, fire or explosion hazards."
Enbridge Pipelines East Texas LP was initially fined $11,000, however settled with OSHA to pay an $8,800 fine.
In 2010, Enbridge's Douglassville facility in Cass County was investigated after an incident there left one worker dead and six others poisoned. According to OSHA documents, the workers were exposed to hydrogen sulfide gas. One worker was killed, while the others received treatment for hydrogen sulfide poisoning.
Enbridge was initially fined $215,100 by OSHA, however settled to pay a penalty of $96,480.
Enbridge said they will conduct their own investigation into Tuesday's explosion in East Texas. Company officials said they expect the Texas Railroad Commission to also perform an investigation into the blast.