State fines Cascade Natural Gas $1M over safety violations

Courtesy: Cascade Natural Gas

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – Cascade Natural Gas has agreed to pay $1 million to settle allegations it broke state and federal pipeline safety rules.

The Washington state Utilities and Transportation Commission approved the settlement Monday. Under the agreement’s terms, the company could be fined an additional $1.5 million unless it completes a compliance plan, including validating the maximum pressure on its highest risk pipelines in Washington by the end of the year.

An investigation by commission staff last year found that Cascade could not provide required documentation for nearly 40 percent of its high-pressure pipelines.

Cascade is based in Kennewick and serves about 200,000 customers around the state. Its pipeline safety program will undergo a third-party audit as part of the settlement.