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South Jersey Gas Reminds Community About Natural Gas Pipeline Safety and Safe Digging

FOLSOM, NJ, December 27, 2016 – This week South Jersey Gas is issuing its annual educational mailing to properties in proximity to the company’s natural gas transmission lines to provide practical safety information. While not everyone in the company’s service territory receives the guide, South Jersey Gas also wants to remind everyone about the importance of pipeline safety.

Natural gas is delivered to customers through pipelines. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, natural gas pipelines provide one of the safest methods for transporting energy. Still, awareness of the location of pipelines and what to do if a leak occurs can further enhance pipeline safety.

“It’s important that those who live or work close to a transmission pipeline be regularly updated with educational information,” said Jeff DuBois, president of South Jersey Gas. “We believe it’s also important to keep safety information top of mind with everyone in the community so people understand where pipelines are located, how to spot a natural gas leak, and what to do if one occurs.”

Common activities, such as landscaping or installing fencing, can cause damage to a pipeline. To avoid accidents, South Jersey Gas reminds everyone to ALWAYS dial 811 before any digging project to start the process of getting a free markout of underground utility lines. In New Jersey, you are legally obligated to contact the One Call Center three full business days before you intend to dig.

If you cause or witness even minor damage to a pipeline or its protective coating, please immediately notify South Jersey Gas. Also, look out for any unusual or suspicious activities or excavations taking place near pipelines and report activities to South Jersey Gas and local law enforcement. South Jersey Gas will dispatch trained personnel to assist emergency responders in the event of any pipeline disturbance or emergency.

Signs of a potential natural gas leak:

  • Smell – An unusual smell or gaseous odor sometimes accompanies a leak. While natural gas is colorless and odorless, a harmless, non-toxic odorant, Mercaptan, is added to give it a smell similar to rotten eggs. This makes it easier to identify a leak.
  • Sight – Bubbling water, blowing dirt, dead or discolored plants, or frozen ground in warm weather are signs of a gas leak. Natural gas is colorless, but vapor and “ground frosting” may be visible.
  • Sound – Volume can range from a quiet blowing or hissing to a loud roar.

How to respond to a suspected natural gas leak:

  • Leave the area immediately by foot, try to direct any other bystanders to leave the area, and attempt to move to a safe location upwind.
  • Call the South Jersey Gas leak hotline immediately at 1-800-582-7060 and also dial 911 (using a phone away from the suspected natural gas leak).
  • Do not smoke, use any electrical switch, cell phone, match, door bell, motor vehicle or electrical equipment (doing so can produce a spark, ignite the gas, and cause an explosion).
  • Do not attempt to operate pipeline valves.
  • Do not attempt to extinguish a pipeline fire. Always wait for local firefighters and other trained professionals to handle the situation.

At South Jersey Gas, safety is our priority. Keeping our customers, the community, and the environment protected shapes everything we do.

For more information about natural gas pipeline safety, please visit www.southjerseygas.com/safety and southjerseygas.com/pipelineinfo

About South Jersey Gas

South Jersey Gas, subsidiary of South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI), delivers safe, reliable, affordable natural gas and promotes energy efficiency to approximately 381,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Salem, and portions of Gloucester, Burlington and Camden counties in New Jersey. Visit www.southjerseygas.com to learn more about South Jersey Gas and its programs.

Media Contact Information

Media Relations:
media@sjindustries.com
Telephone: 609-561-9000 x4496

Investor Contact:
Dan Fidell (609) 561-9000 x7027
dfidell@sjindustries.com

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