Fines levied against Decatur Co. waived by PSC

Published 4:04 pm Sunday, September 15, 2013

The $15,000 civil penalty levied against Decatur County by the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) has been waived.
After a site visit on June 12 by a representative of the PSC’s Pipeline/Facilities Safety Office, probable violations were found with Pipeline Safety Regulations. The violations found all related to the county’s public information effort and required paperwork that was not properly maintained. None of the violations were safety related.
Because of the probable violations, “staff has reviewed the circumstances surrounding this incident and has recommended a civil penalty in the amount of $15,000,” according to the report.
During Tuesday’s Decatur County Board of Commissioner’s meeting, county administrator Gary Breedlove informed the commission that after meeting with the PSC representatives and receiving instruction on how to correct the violations, the civil penalty had been dropped.
“We had a site visit three months ago and then got the report seven or eight weeks later, and after some sensationalism associated with that, I met with representatives of the PSC Friday a week ago at Calloway Gardens,” said Breedlove. “We had a couple of hours of discussion and they were very helpful in wanting us to move past whatever people perceive to be the big issue. There will be no monetary fine or no financial penalty.”
In other business, Breedlove informed the commission that he had begun the process of disposing of an obsolete peak shaving plant located in the industrial park. A peak shaving plant is a propane gas powered plant that produces natural gas to be used when demand increases beyond the supply.
“It generates a minimal capacity and doesn’t suit our needs anymore. We have put out bids to see who might be interested in buying our plant and particularly, the 30,000 propane tank,” said Breedlove.
The highest bid received by the county was from Southern LP Gas in Blakely in the amount of $35,751.
Breedlove indicated that the county was not at the point of approving such a project and he simply wanted the commissioners to be aware of the bid process and the discussions taking place relative to removing the plant.

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