"Leaking Gas Pipelines Across Michigan Create An Underground Danger"

"Crisscrossing Michigan are more than 3,100 miles of old wrought- and cast-iron natural-gas pipelines -- the type federal regulators consider the most at risk of corrosion, cracking and catastrophic rupturing. The state's two largest utilities have replaced less than 15% of these pipelines -- 542 miles -- in the past decade."

"Only four other states have more old iron gas mains than Michigan. These pipelines don't just increase the chances of a leak -- they're already leaking.

And the process of replacing them can lead to deadly results. On Feb. 27, as a Consumers Energy work crew replaced pipelines dating to 1929 in a Royal Oak neighborhood, a natural-gas explosion occurred, killing a man, leveling his house and damaging 30 other homes nearby. Consumers later fired an unspecified number of employees for "failure to follow established policies and procedures." Investigations by the utility, the Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Royal Oak Fire Department continue."

Keith Matheny reports for the Detroit Free Press April 1, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"Arkansas Oil Spill Sheds Light On Aging Pipeline System" (NPR)

Source: Detroit Free Press, 04/04/2013