HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – CenterPoint Energy has released a statement apologizing to residents of three southeastern Indiana cities for putting a “disproportionate amount of propane” into its natural gas system on December 24, 2022.
Firefighters in Clarksville, New Albany and Jeffersonville responded to over 100 calls of gas and carbon monoxide issues, according to Clarksville town manager Kevin Baity. Four people were sent to the hospital and several homes and businesses had to be evacuated.
“While our initial indications were that there were no issues with our system, with the assistance of a third party, we investigated whether our operations could have contributed to the reports in the three communities,” CenterPoint said in the release. “We regret that our initial indications were incorrect and accept our responsibility for the error.”
CenterPoint has suspended operations at its Jeffersonville propane air facility. The full statement from CenterPoint can be read below:
We would like to extend our sincere apologies to those who were affected by carbon monoxide issues in their homes and businesses following the events that occurred in our natural gas service areas of Clarksville, New Albany and Jeffersonville, Ind. on Dec. 24. The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our top priority.
While our initial indications were that there were no issues with our system, with the assistance of a third-party, we investigated whether our operations could have contributed to the reports in the three communities.CenterPoint Energy
Our investigation’s findings determined that there was an incorrect mixture of gas at our facility. A disproportionate amount of propane had been added into our natural gas system and, as such, contributed to the reports of carbon monoxide in the three communities. We regret that our initial indications were incorrect and accept responsibility for the error.
We have ceased operations at our Jeffersonville propane air facility. To prevent a recurrence, the facility will remain shut down through the end of 2023 as we assess its future. Based on our review, there are no signs that any incorrect mixture remains in our system.
Customers who have concerns about the condition or operation of their natural gas appliances should contact CenterPoint Energy at email@example.com or 713-207-7724 for assistance.
Our investigation was done in coordination with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), which previously announced a detailed review of our Jeffersonville propane air facility. The IURC has been apprised of our findings. CenterPoint Energy will fully cooperate and comply with any directives the IURC deems appropriate following its analysis of the event. We will continue to assess our operations and take appropriate corrective actions to prevent incidents like this in the future.
We would like to express our gratitude to the first responders and emergency personnel for their support and response to the carbon monoxide calls in Clarksville, New Albany and Jeffersonville. We would also like to thank the IURC, local and state elected officials, and the public for their patience as the investigation was completed.