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Columbia Gas Gets Fine Reduced In Exchange For Increased Precautions

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Officials say an old gas-valved box later marked as a water valve wasn't properly sealed and a service line to the house from the main line wasn't disconnected.

A fine against a gas company will be halved in exchange for the company using safety programs to help prevent the kind of explosion that leveled an Upper Arlington home last year.

State utility commissioners on Wednesday approved the deal reached earlier between Columbia Gas of Ohio and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Ohio's utility regulator agreed to reduce the fine for the explosion in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington last March from $400,000 to $200,000.

Officials say an old gas-valved box later marked as a water valve wasn't properly sealed and a service line to the house from the main line wasn't disconnected.

Columbia has said it'll work with municipal water departments, plumbers, contractors and others to avoid similar mistakes.