April 22, 2005 at 12:00 AM EDT

WGL Holdings, Inc. Subsidiary Updates Action Plan to Address Gas Leaks in Prince George's County, Maryland

WGL Holdings, Inc. Subsidiary Updates Action Plan to Address Gas Leaks in Prince George's County, Maryland

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Washington Gas Light Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: WGL), has detailed its action plan to address an increase in natural gas leaks in certain areas of Prince George's County, Maryland.

Washington Gas has identified approximately 1,400 leaks in a 100 square- mile area of Prince George's County. All known leaks in the affected area will be addressed within approximately six months. As a precaution, the company also will rehabilitate or replace other coupled service lines and distribution mains in the affected Prince George's County neighborhoods during the next 30 months. In early May, the company will begin to publish rehabilitation/replacement schedules on our corporate Web site,

WGL Holdings Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James H. DeGraffenreidt, Jr., stated: "The plan to address gas leaks in Prince George's County is aggressive and demonstrates our commitment to provide safe and reliable natural gas service to all Washington Gas customers. The safety of our customers and the reliability of our distribution system remain our primary concerns."

The leaks have resulted from the deterioration of seals located within mechanical couplings, which connect sections of distribution mains and service lines. The leaks are evident primarily in some areas of Prince George's County where large concentrations of mechanical couplings were installed.

Additional Information Regarding Washington Gas Action Plan

  • Washington Gas will address all known leaks in the affected area within approximately six months.
  • By late 2007, the company will replace non-leaking service lines, and restore non-leaking couplings on mains or replace mains in the affected area.
  • Washington Gas will eliminate leaks on mains by encapsulation or replacement. Encapsulation involves tightening and sealing the coupling with a permanent bonding material. If encapsulation is not feasible, the main will be replaced.
  • The company will replace service lines by inserting a new plastic line inside the existing steel-coupled line. If insertion is not practical, a new service line will be installed.
  • The company is in the process of retaining additional crews necessary to complement its existing crews to work on the project. It anticipates having a total of 60 outside contractor crews by June 1, 2005.
  • In addition to performing routine leak surveys in accordance with Department of Transportation regulations, the company will conduct supplemental leak surveys for the duration of the restoration period.
  • Independent research laboratories are conducting a comprehensive examination about the cause of the leaks on the mechanical couplings.
  • If customers smell natural gas and are concerned about their safety, the company encourages them to call 911. Customers also can call the Washington Gas Leak Line at 703-750-1400.
  • Washington Gas dispatches trained technicians when notified of a possible natural gas leak. If a leak poses an immediate threat, the technician will take immediate action to make the area safe. If a natural gas leak does not pose an immediate threat, other corrective action will be scheduled for a later date. This prioritization process allows the company to allocate resources more efficiently; coordinate necessary work with customers' schedules; and minimize traffic disruptions.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., WGL Holdings is the parent company of Washington Gas Light Company, a natural gas utility that serves approximately one million customers throughout metropolitan Washington, D.C., and the surrounding region. In addition, it holds a group of energy-related retail businesses that focus primarily on retail energy-marketing and commercial heating, ventilating and air conditioning services. Additional information about WGL Holdings is available on its Web site,

Note: This news release and other statements by the company include forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to the outlook for earnings, revenues and other future financial business performance or strategies and expectations. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as, but not limited to, "estimates," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "believes," "plans," and similar expressions, or future or conditional verbs such as "will," "should," "would," and "could." Although the company believes such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it cannot give assurance that every objective will be achieved. Forward-looking statements speak only as of today, and the company assumes no duty to update them.

As previously disclosed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements or historical performance: the level and rate at which costs and expenses are incurred in connection with constructing, operating and maintaining the company's natural gas distribution system; variations in weather conditions from normal levels; changes in economic, competitive, political and regulatory conditions and developments; changes in capital and energy commodity market conditions; changes in credit ratings of debt securities of WGL Holdings, Inc. or Washington Gas Light Company that may affect access to capital or the cost of debt; changes in credit market conditions and creditworthiness of customers and suppliers; changes in relevant laws and regulations, including tax, environmental and employment laws and regulations; legislative, regulatory and judicial mandates or decisions affecting business operations or the timing of recovery of costs and expenses; the timing and success of business and product development efforts and technological improvements; the pace of deregulation efforts and the availability of other competitive alternatives; terrorist activities; and other uncertainties. The outcome of negotiations and discussions the company may hold with other parties from time to time regarding utility and energy-related investments and strategic transactions that are both recurring and non-recurring may also affect future performance. For a further discussion of the risks and uncertainties, see the company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SOURCE WGL Holdings, Inc.

News Media: Tim Sargeant, Office: +1-202-624-6043, Pager: +1-202-825-7051, or Financial Community: Melissa E. Adams, Office: +1-202-624-6410, both of WGL Holdings Inc.