Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Regulators: Greenwood Blast Was Result Of PSE Abandonment

Monica Spain
Regulators who investigated the March explosion in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood say PSE committed 17 violations of safety regulations.

State regulators are recommending a fine of more than $3 million against Puget Sound Energy for a March explosion in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. The blast injured nine firefighters, destroyed two buildings, and caused extensive property damage in the area.

State regulators say the explosion was caused by unauthorized people accessing and damaging the gas line. But they also say Puget Sound Energy did not properly disconnect and seal the line when it was abandoned in 2004. They say PSE committed 17 violations of safety regulations.

In a statement, Puget Sound Energy called the recommended fine “disappointing and excessive.” The $3 million fine is not final. It still must be reviewed by the three-member state Utilities and Transportation Commission.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.