A gunfire that struck one of Pennsylvania’s electric cooperative substation in Erie Country is facing $250,000 in repair and environmental mitigation costs, according to reports.
“Cooperative personnel are working diligently with the Pennsylvania State Police, FBI and Homeland Security to quickly bring justice to those involved,” said Linda King, vice president of corporate services for Northwestern Rural Electric Cooperative in Cambridge Springs.
“The state police are heading up the investigation and we want to make it clear that we intend to prosecute anyone responsible to the fullest extent of the law,” said King. “That will include federal felony charges.”
Security cameras able to identify shooter
A 10-megavolt amperes inside the facility’s fenced perimeter were struck by a gunshot in Edinboro in Erie County on November 5. The damage is said to cost about $250,000 including the mitigation as there were also leaks inside the substation from the gunshots in the transformer housing.
Authorities were able to identify the type of car used by suspect as a crew member was able to alert them right away and there were also security cameras around.
Nine bullets struck the casing of the transformer, allowing about 500 gallons of mineral oil to leak inside the substation, said King. “There were no PCB’s [polychlorinated biphenyl compounds] involved, and we began mitigation and containment efforts early enough to keep most of the 2,064 gallons inside the perimeter.”
No reported power outage in the area
More that two thousand households in Edinboro did not lose power because of the co-op’s very quick response. The co-op had an 8-member environmental remediation contract crew that responded immediately while the cleanup was handled by the state environmental protection personnel. A mobile substation was also set up having another 16 co-op maintenance crew members in it to handle the load.
“We never lost power, but more than 2,400 of our members may have noticed a slight flicker when we shifted service over to the mobile unit,” King said.
“No one should be shooting at our equipment, because the damage could cause problems for thousands of our members. While we have insurance to cover this type of incident, it’s really all of our members that pay that price.”
The co-op serves about 20,000 members in five northwestern Pennsylvania and in Ohio’s Ashtabula County served by its 17- point metering system. If you need an Bonita Electrician Please click here.