Atco gas meters can leak methane, warns gas regulator
Gas company Atco announced Tuesday it would soon begin replacing its nearly $300 million gas meters with sensors that can detect methane leaks and report it to the state Department of Environmental Quality.
Atco said it will start replacing its gas meters next month with a new sensor system that is compatible with the company’s existing equipment and will be installed in the first quarter of 2019.
The Atco unit is one of a number of state and federal efforts to address the methane leaks that have been detected by Atco’s gas meters, which can leak hundreds of pounds of methane a day.
A leak is a small amount of gas that leaks through a gas leaky valve and travels through a pipe.
“We are taking the most comprehensive steps to minimize the likelihood of the gas leaking, while maintaining the integrity of our equipment and our customers,” Atco Chairman and CEO Mark Jorgensen said in a statement.
Atco has a fleet of more than 8,000 gas meters across its gas distribution system in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
At the same time, a growing number of consumers are finding it difficult to use their meter, and a recent survey found that the average customer was using about 10 meters a month.
Atco said the new sensor will be deployed in its gas-fired electric distribution network and is expected to be fully operational in 2019.
At last count, about 10 percent of the Atco electric network is using Atco sensors.
Gas company Atos is replacing the AtCo gas meters at the gas station in front of the building in New Brunswick, N.J., that holds a gas station and a gas distribution center.
A methane leak is seen on the ground at a gas pump in this file photo taken July 18, 2017.
Atcos gas meters were installed on gas stations across New Jersey in the summer of 2017 and in 2017 were installed in Atco distribution facilities.
A recent federal lawsuit against the company accused it of failing to adequately protect its customers from a leak.