Huntington seeks grant approval to replace natural gas lines

The City of Huntington is hoping to make use of the US Department of Transportation’s Natural...
The City of Huntington is hoping to make use of the US Department of Transportation’s Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization grant program.(all use)
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 5:20 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2022 at 8:01 PM CDT
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HUNTINGTON, Texas (KTRE) - The City of Huntington is hoping to make use of the US Department of Transportation’s Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization grant program to fund the replacement of natural gas lines.

The grant came to City Manager Bill Stewart’s attention only three weeks ago. The city is now quickly trying to apply and get things in order by the end of July. Stewart said they want to avoid major problems before they arise.

“There have been a lot of problems throughout the entire nation with leaks from gas lines, equipment pumps, et cetera,” said Stewart. “A lot of issues rising from those leaks such as explosions, injuries and this. We have not had the injuries and deaths here, we’ve not had explosions. We have had a lot of leaks.”

Though Stewart said a leak hasn’t happened in a while, leaks often mean that gas to customers has to be shut off for hours at a time, which is of particular concern after the winter storm in 2021. Stewart said the lines currently in the ground have been there for decades, and the grant program provides the right way to fund replacing them.

“It’s a total grant,” said Stewart. “There is no match. So if we are funded, that is ours free and clear. A lot of grants come with a match.”

The grant proposal has to be submitted to the US Department of Transportation by July 25th. If funded, Stewart says the first thing customers will see are contractors replacing some of the lines and working on existing equipment.

“They will also begin to realize that we don’t have the number of leaks,” said Stewart. “They won’t smell the gas like they have before. We won’t have situations where we will have to go and cut off gas to several customers as we repair or replace lines.”

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