CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia is getting $697,000 in grants to improve pipeline safety as its natural gas industry grows.
The announcement comes from U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who chairs the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and from Sen. Joe Manchin and Rep. Nick Rahall, all D-W.Va.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission will get nearly $497,000 in fiscal year 2013, while the West Virginia Emergency Response Commission will get more than $200,000.
The grants are from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Rockefeller said pipelines must be safe, reliable and durable to prevent explosions like the one that occurred last December in Sissonville. It destroyed several homes and cooked a section of highway.
No one was seriously hurt in that incident, but Manchin said the explosion proved that safety must be a top priority.