THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 18

feature

Conversation with an APGA Member:

Easton Utilities, Maryland
1. What are some recent
accomplishments that your system
has achieved?
There are always significant projects,
which improve the safety, reliability, cost
effectiveness, and customer satisfaction
of our utility infrastructure; however,
the most recent is the completion of our
natural gas distribution system rebuild.
Spanning approximately 20 years,
Easton Utilities has been upgrading the
underground system with polyethylene
(PE) pipe. By eliminating cast iron, bare
steel, and most recently the ductal
iron pipe from specific areas, we have
increased the strength and reliability of
our system.
"We approached this project in a
methodical manner by addressing the
most vulnerable areas first, and the team
is proud to have completed the final phase
of this modernization," stated James P.
Crowley, Gas Department Manager.
This investment helps ensure our gas
system is safe, reliable and cost efficient
to operate. Because PE does not corrode,
it reduces the need for ongoing cathodic
protection maintenance, a requirement
for the former steel pipe and cast iron gas
mains. Easton Utilities' natural gas system
now serves over 4,600 customers in an
8.5 square mile territory.
"Serving our customers in the safest,
most efficient manner ultimately drove
the project," added Crowley. "There was
a sense of pride and ownership with the
entire gas department throughout the
duration of this project."
2. What are some unique
characteristics about your system?
Easton's first gas plant was built in
1860 and served 323 customers. By 1955,
the demand on the gas department had
increased to such a point that a complete
revision of the plant was required. In

June of 1966, the Town of Easton was
converted to a natural gas system being
supplied by Eastern Shore Natural Gas to
serve 1,100 customers.
The gas department is one of seven
different businesses operated by Easton
Utilities. In 1923, Easton became the
first municipality in the state to own all
of its utilities, an arrangement that is
still unique today. The gas department
integrates with the full-spectrum of
utility and communication services
that Easton Utilities provides: water,
wastewater, electricity, natural gas, cable
TV, internet, and information technology
professional services. Our customers in
the Town of Easton and portions of the
surrounding area have all of their needs
met by a single community-owned

"Serving our customers in the
safest, most efficient manner
ultimately drove the project,"
added Crowley. "There was a sense
of pride and ownership with the
entire gas department throughout
the duration of this project."

18 THE SOURCE | THE VOICE AND CHOICE OF PUBLIC GAS

utility. Currently, Easton Utilities serves
over 10,600 customers.
Easton Utilities' Gas Department is
fully regulated through the Maryland
Public Service Commission (PSC) for
both rates and operational performance,
which is a very unique characteristic.
3. Safety is a vital aspect to natural
gas utilities. How do you best manage
safety on a day-to-day basis?
Easton Utilities' approach has always
been to prioritize safety. Keeping
our people, our customers, and our
community safe is of utmost importance
and is engrained in our daily operations.
We have many measures in place to
keep safety at the forefront of all we
do. We conduct safety stand-downs
on a quarterly basis focused on recent
incidents that may have occurred or
been avoided. We hold safety tailgates
prior to jobs to identify hazardous
tasks and ways to mitigate the risk. We
formed a Safety Committee years ago
comprised of employees representing
various functioning work groups. This
group meets monthly to discuss safety
initiatives company-wide, including
accident and incident reviews. The Safety
Committee provides an open forum for
all employees to bring forward safety
concerns and recommendations.
In an effort to reach every employee
whether on the job site or behind a
desk, we added Vivid Learning, which
is an online safety training and records
keeping platform. This program adds
another layer of topics and learning
options to promote the importance of
safety throughout the organization.
Our most recent accomplishment
was the implementation of an official
Incident Response Plan. This plan is a
framework of procedures and policies
that will allow key functions and support



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Summer 2018

APGA Events
First Person
2018 Starts off with Gas Records
Energy Regulatory Update
The Result of Not Addressing Increasing Cybersecurity Risk
Conversation with an APGA Member
APGA Leads Charge to Lower Pipeline Rates to Match Lower Tax Rates
Legislative Outlook
Enhancing Resilience of Critical Infrastructure with Combined Heat and Power
The Pipeline
The Importance of Getting Involved with State and Local Building Code Developments
At Last
Advertisers’ Index/Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - Intro
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - bellyband1
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - bellyband2
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - cover1
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - cover2
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 3
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 4
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 5
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 6
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - APGA Events
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - First Person
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 9
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 2018 Starts off with Gas Records
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 11
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - Energy Regulatory Update
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 13
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - The Result of Not Addressing Increasing Cybersecurity Risk
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 15
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 16
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 17
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - Conversation with an APGA Member
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 19
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - APGA Leads Charge to Lower Pipeline Rates to Match Lower Tax Rates
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 21
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - Legislative Outlook
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - Enhancing Resilience of Critical Infrastructure with Combined Heat and Power
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 24
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 25
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - The Pipeline
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - The Importance of Getting Involved with State and Local Building Code Developments
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 28
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - At Last
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - Advertisers’ Index/Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - cover3
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - cover4
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - divider1
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - divider2
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 35
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 36
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 40
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 41
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 42
THE SOURCE - Summer 2018 - 43
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