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Above-ground regulators risk public safety in New Jersey

People in Newark, New Jersey, may be aware of natural gas as an energy source that supplies heat and electricity. However, a recent safety concern about an alleged negligent security risk was brought to court against New Jersey Natural Gas regarding above-ground regulators in the downtown area.

In a 2009 inspection, the below-ground regulators of NJNG were allegedly hazardous. For this reason, the company moved the regulators above ground to ensure public safety. Above-ground regulators are safer and protected from corrosion and possible explosions. These regulators will decrease gas pressure found in the distribution lines before it reaches the customer.

However, the Red Bank Borough Council opposed the idea. The organization stated that above-ground natural gas regulators may endanger pedestrians, get struck by a car and may be more accessible to further damage. They criticized NJNG for not providing important data and information to the public about the above-ground regulators. The regulators are 12 inches high and are placed against storefronts, restaurants and other buildings in the business area. Business owners are worried about future harm that the above-ground regulators may cause, particularly to food-related businesses.

Companies have a responsibility to guarantee safety and secure premises for residents, employees and clients. The businesses must avoid having unsafe conditions, physical hazards and safety issues present in areas that may cause injuries and accidents to the public.

If a business's property causes an accident, the company that failed to maintain the safety of the premises is accountable. Victims and their families may receive compensation from the company. Compensation may support all related expenses required for the victim's recovery and rehabilitation, while the family members may receive financial compensation for pain and suffering.

Source: The Hub, " Red Bank will continue to fight regulators," Keith Heumiller, Oct. 18, 2012

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