MAGNOLIA, Texas - June 12, 2023 - EPCOR USA Inc. (EPCOR) earned the American Gas Association’s (AGA) 2022 Safety Achievement Award, which is given to AGA members who have surpassed the industry standards for specific safety requirements. In 2022, EPCOR’s natural gas team in Magnolia, Texas completed the year without an incident and a Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) rate of zero, despite the 17-person team working more than 34,400 hours. EPCOR received the award at the 2023 AGA Operations Conference held May 2023 in Grapevine.
“Our crews have consistently demonstrated a sound knowledge of industry standards and practices that keep them and our customers safe as they conduct work in a rapidly growing market,” said David Billinger, Director of Operations for EPCOR’s Texas gas operations. “I am incredibly proud of our team’s commitment to going above and beyond what is required of them in terms of safety and earning this prestigious award.”
In addition to the hours worked, the EPCOR gas team made critical and innovative improvements to their operations that attributed to their pristine safety record including:
- Implementing the Smith System driving training program, which led to zero vehicle claims despite over 300,000 miles driven.
- Digitizing safety and inspection forms to allow for a more streamlined review process and developed a real-time dashboard to identify and mitigate abnormal operating conditions.
- Creating an independent manual of supplemental procedures and training exercises to exceed the minimum requirements outlined in regulatory code.
EPCOR acquired its Texas natural gas operations in 2017 and has since experienced significant growth, averaging over 12 percent growth year-over-year and surpassing 13 percent last year when it connected nearly 2,800 new contracted lots to its distribution system. Today, EPCOR serves over 6,000 active natural gas meters across nine counties in the greater Houston Metro Area. This marks the first year that EPCOR has applied for and earned this award.
Every year the AGA presents its members with the Safety Achievement award who have had zero employee fatalities, have a DART-incident rate and OSHA-recordable rate lower than the industry average for their respective segment.
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About EPCOR USA
EPCOR USA is among the largest private utilities in the Southwest, providing water, wastewater and natural gas service to approximately 800,000 people across 42 communities and 18 counties in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. With corporate offices in Phoenix, EPCOR USA employs approximately 525 people.
About the American Gas Association
The AGA, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 77 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 96 percent — more than 74 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. AGA is an advocate for natural gas utility companies and their customers and provides a broad range of programs and services for member natural gas pipelines, marketers, gatherers, international natural gas companies, and industry associates. Today, natural gas meets nearly one-third of the United States’ energy needs.