Atlanta Gas Light Company Receives Recognition From US Environmental Protection Agency
April 3, 2003
Each year, Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGLC) works hard to replace miles of aging pipe that carries natural gas to customers. Not only does the upgrade program make the transport of natural gas safer, but it also helps the environment by reducing or eliminating methane emissions. Recently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized AGLC's contribution to cleaner air.
AGLC is one of 90 companies voluntarily participating in the EPA's Natural Gas Star Program, which aims to reduce emissions of methane, a gas that contributes to the "greenhouse effects" of global warming. Small amounts of methane are routinely emitted as natural gas pipelines age. Through the pipeline replacement program and inspection and maintenance of its 83 regulator stations, AGLC has achieved significant reductions in methane emissions.
Since AGLC joined the Star program 10 years ago, EPA recognizes that AGLC has achieved a reduction in methane emissions by 442,000 Mcf (thousand cubic feet), which is the equivalent of removing 39,300 cars from Atlanta highways or planting 53,600 acres of trees.
"We're currently in the fifth year of our pipeline renewal program, which is an enormous project," said Isaac Blythers, president of AGLC. "We have scheduled replacement and upgrades of our aging infrastructure. The upgrades are expensive but have been necessary, and it is gratifying to be recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for our efforts. Our employees have put in long, hard hours on this program, and they take great pride in receiving the Star Certificate of Achievement."
AGLC eventually will replace more than 2,300 miles of cast iron and bare steel main pipe in its extensive 55,300-mile system. This massive project, which is the largest replacement program in the nation, was developed working cooperatively with the Georgia Public Service Commission.
In 2002, AGLC replaced just over 232 miles of pipeline. Another 232 miles is scheduled to be replaced in 2003.
In the first four years of the program, the company replaced more than 1,039 miles of main pipe and 13,000 service lines (smaller pipe that goes to businesses and residences). The project has cost more than $216 million.
Since the EPA program's inception in 1993, Natural Gas Star partners nationwide have reported total methane emission reductions of 218 Bcf (billion cubic feet), worth more than $650 million. These reductions are the equivalent of eliminating the emissions of more than 19 million cars for one year.