By Debbie Hersman
Today, Member Robert Sumwalt and I had the opportunity to visit with Carolina Gas Transmission, a SCANA company that delivers natural gas to wholesale and direct industrial customers throughout South Carolina. We met with company leaders and safety officials at their headquarters in Columbia, South Carolina. In the morning, we heard about their capital maintenance program to replace, inspect and maintain 1,469 miles on their transmission lines in South Carolina and Georgia, over half of which were laid prior to 1970.
In the afternoon, we traveled to Lexington, SC, to observe a 12″ pipeline confirmatory dig. The dig’s purpose: to conduct additional radiographic exams (or X-rays) of the pipe using GPS locations noted in previous in-line inspections that had established the basis for further evaluation. A crew had excavated a 40’ section of Line ‘M’ and was evaluating the pipe’s condition when we arrived.
We finished the day with a visit to their control center where we saw how employees monitor pipeline operations and heard how their emergency response process is designed to work. It was a busy day, but a good opportunity for us to hear from pipeline company employees about their vision of safety, from the CEO to a backhoe operator.