Eagan pipeline tests fiery but harmless

CenterPoint Energy natural gas pipeline inspections between Lakeville and Eagan are expected to occasionally generate flames reaching 20 to 40 feet high.

The pipeline inspection is part of the company's mandated routine checkup every seven years, and will last until the end of the month, said Tod Norgren, CenterPoint Energy construction manager.

The flames may be visible near Highway 13 and Cedar Avenue in Eagan, Norgren said.

"Because of where it's positioned, it doesn't pose any harm except other than people will see it, and they may hear it," Norgren said. CenterPoint Energy already alerted authorities about the flames and possible noise generated by the burner.

"If a concerned citizen calls in saying they see this particular flame or hear it, [authorities] understand that we've got a controlled process going on versus something else," Norgren said.

The inspection tests the condition of the pipeline for potential damage. Testing won't affect gas rates or interrupt service, Norgren said.

The pipeline section in Eagan is one of CenterPoint Energy's transmission pipelines that brings natural gas supply into distribution lines that feed into homes and businesses.

CenterPoint Energy manages 157 miles of transmission pipeline in Minnesota.

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