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NIPSCO fines approved

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has approved more than $1 million in civil penalties issued against Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Co. for pipeline safety violations in 2019. The IURC says the violations stem from NIPSCO’s failure to find or mark pipelines in two days as required by safety procedures.

The fines, totaling $1,138,000, are the highest levied in state history.

The penalties are the 2019 portion of an original settlement between NIPSCO and the IURC’s Pipeline Safety Division, to which the utility paid $900,000 for violations dating back to 2015, and also agreed to pay more civil penalties for future violations. NIPSCO was previously ordered to pay $765,000 for 2017 violations and $1.1. million for 2018 violations, the latter of which was the previous state record.

The IURC says all funds collected from NIPSCO go directly to the state’s General Fund.