Columbia Gas of Virginia Performing Work in Stanardsville Area

Monday, August 21, 2017

Controlled Natural Gas Flaring may cause visible flame and result in rotten-egg-like odor 

Karl Brack, Communications Director
(804) 768-6410

CHESTER, VA. – August 21, 2017 – Columbia Gas of Virginia is performing maintenance on its natural gas pipeline system in the Stanardsville area tonight that could result in a visible flame from controlled flaring of natural gas, and a brief period of “rotten egg smell” in the immediate vicinity.

The work will take place at two locations:

  • Spotswood Trail between Wetsel Drive and Monroe Drive and
  • Forde Avenue between Judges Road and Krystal Court

The work is expected to extend into the late evening hours and be concluded early Tuesday morning.

 As part of the work, Columbia will be purging natural gas from portions of its pipeline system.  The purging procedure will involve safe and controlled flaring of natural gas, which may result in a brief period of visible flame and odor in the immediate area of the work.  The odor will diminish quickly as work is concluded.

Natural gas is lighter-than-air, odorless and colorless in a natural state and a chemical “Mercaptan” is added as a safety measure. Mercaptan most closely smells like “rotten eggs.”

Columbia Gas of Virginia personnel will respond to any odor complaints. Columbia Gas of Virginia is notifying local fire and police officials of this maintenance procedure. Please contact the Columbia Gas of Virginia emergency response number at 800.544.5606 or call 911 with any odor complaints.

 About Columbia Gas of Virginia

Columbia Gas of Virginia delivers safe, reliable and clean natural gas to more than 264,000 customers in portions of Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, suburban Richmond, Central Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, Lynchburg region and Western Virginia. With headquarters in Chesterfield County, the company is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) serving 3.8 million natural gas and electric customers.  Always call 811 before you dig and Dig with CARE. Learn more at