BPU announces settlement with PSE&G over 2010 blast

TRENTONA power company will pay $150,000 to New Jersey as part of a settlement over a natural gas explosion nearly two years ago.

The Board of Public Utilities reported today that it OK’d a settlement with Public Service Electric and Gas Co. over an explosion in Clifton on April 9, 2010.

In addition to the payment, according to BPU, Castlton Environmental Contractors of Nanuet, N.Y., failed to comply with the Underground Protection Act. 

“New Jersey’s natural gas pipeline safety regulations are among the strictest in the country and all suspected violations are fully investigated,” BPU President Bob Hanna said in a release.

“It is critical that all excavators, whether homeowners or contractors, call the 811 – Call Before You Dig hotline at least three business days prior to outdoor construction or digging.” 

BPU said that the explosion caused extensive damage to 64 Rutgers Place in Clifton and damaged two surrounding residences.  The force of the explosion and the subsequent fire resulted in injuries to several firefighters and PSE&G employees. 

BPU said today that as part a compromise of civil penalties and without admitting any violation of law or wrongdoing, PSE&G agreed to make a one-time payment of $150,000 to the state.  PSE&G also agreed that it would not seek to recover any of the monies from ratepayers, BPU stated. 

BPU, in a release, said that it was unable to reach a proposed settlement of $100,000 with Castlton.  The BPU said that the next step for enforcement is the issuance of an Administrative Order and Notice of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessment.

An official with Castlton reached late Friday afternoon said they would have no comment.

BPU announces settlement with PSE&G over 2010 blast