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SEC Filings
10-Q
SOUTHERN UNION CO filed this Form 10-Q on 08/08/2013
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remediation typically involves the management of contaminated soils and may involve remediation of groundwater.  Activities vary with site conditions and locations, the extent and nature of the contamination, remedial requirements, complexity and sharing of responsibility.  The ultimate liability and total costs associated with these sites will depend upon many factors.  If remediation activities involve statutory joint and several liability provisions, strict liability, or cost recovery or contribution actions, Panhandle could potentially be held responsible for contamination caused by other parties.  In some instances, Panhandle may share liability associated with contamination with other potentially responsible parties.  Panhandle may also benefit from contractual indemnities that cover some or all of the cleanup costs. These sites are generally managed in the normal course of business or operations.
The Company’s environmental remediation activities are undertaken in cooperation with and under the oversight of appropriate regulatory agencies, enabling the Company under certain circumstances to take advantage of various voluntary cleanup programs in order to perform the remediation in the most effective and efficient manner.
Distribution Segment
The Company is allowed to recover environmental remediation expenditures through rates in certain jurisdictions within its Distribution segment.  Significant charges to earnings could be required prior to rate recovery for jurisdictions that do not have rate recovery mechanisms.
The Company is responsible for environmental remediation at various contaminated sites that are primarily associated with former MGPs and sites associated with the operation and disposal activities of former MGPs that produced a fuel known as “town gas.” Some byproducts of the historic manufactured gas process may be regulated substances under various federal and state environmental laws. To the extent these byproducts are present in soil or groundwater at concentrations in excess of applicable standards, investigation and remediation may be required.  The sites include properties that are part of the Company’s ongoing operations, sites formerly owned or used by the Company and sites owned by third parties. Remediation typically involves the management of contaminated soils and may involve removal of old MGP structures and remediation of groundwater. Activities vary with site conditions and locations, the extent and nature of the contamination, remedial requirements, complexity and sharing of responsibility; some contamination may be unrelated to former MGPs. The ultimate liability and total costs associated with these sites will depend upon many factors. If remediation activities involve statutory joint and several liability provisions, strict liability, or cost recovery or contribution actions, the Company could potentially be held responsible for contamination caused by other parties.  In some instances, the Company may share liability associated with contamination with other potentially responsible parties and may also benefit from insurance policies or contractual indemnities that cover some or all of the cleanup costs. These sites are generally managed in the normal course of business or operations.
North Attleboro MGP Site in Massachusetts (“North Attleboro Site”).  In November 2003, the Massachusetts Department of Environment Protection issued a Notice of Responsibility to New England Gas Company, acknowledging receipt of prior notifications and investigative reports submitted by New England Gas Company, following the discovery of suspected coal tar material at the North Attleboro Site.  Subsequent sampling in the adjacent river channel revealed sediment impacts necessitating the investigation of off-site properties.  Assessment activities have recently been completed and it is estimated that the Company will spend approximately $11 million over the next several years to complete remediation activities at the North Attleboro Site, as well as maintain the engineered barrier constructed in 2008 at the upland portion of the site.  As New England Gas Company is allowed to recover environmental remediation expenditures through rates associated with its Massachusetts operations, the estimated costs associated with the North Attleboro Site have been included in regulatory assets in the condensed consolidated balance sheets.
Environmental Remediation Liabilities
The table below reflects the amount of accrued liabilities recorded in the condensed consolidated balance sheets at the dates indicated to cover environmental remediation actions where management believes a loss is probable and reasonably estimable.  Except for matters discussed above, the Company does not have any material environmental remediation matters assessed as reasonably possible that would require disclosure in the financial statements.
 
 
June 30,
2013
 
December 31,
2012
Current
 
$
3

 
$
7

Noncurrent
 
15

 
26

Total environmental liabilities
 
$
18

 
$
33


17

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