For Release: 04/06/2016

Peoples Gas joins U.S. EPA and other gas utilities for Methane Challenge

Company’s pipe replacement program already is reducing methane emissions in Chicago

Chicago, IL - Peoples Gas is partnering with natural gas utilities across the nation to participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program.

Through the Methane Challenge, oil and natural gas companies make and track commitments to reduce their methane emissions. The program helps partners demonstrate their efforts to improve air quality, save energy and increase operational efficiencies. The Methane Challenge is part of the Obama administration's strategy to reduce methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent between 2012 and 2025.

Peoples Gas will meet the EPA's Methane Challenge by replacing cast and ductile iron natural gas mains with modern polyethylene pipes. The EPA estimates older iron pipes leak at a rate 24 times higher than polyethylene pipes, so replacing them can significantly reduce methane emissions. Through the Methane Challenge, Peoples Gas has committed to replace its remaining iron natural gas mains at an annual rate of at least 2 percent for the next five years.

The pipe upgrades are part of the company's Accelerated Main Replacement Program (AMRP), a focused effort to replace 2,350 miles – or about half – of its natural gas delivery system. Since 2011, when AMRP began, Peoples Gas has replaced 360 miles of its older natural gas mains and installed an additional 290 miles of mains, allowing for more "retirements" or replacements as the project continues. In addition to reducing methane emissions, the pipe upgrades ensure the long-term safety and reliability of the natural gas infrastructure in Chicago.

"We look forward to working with EPA on the Methane Challenge," said Charles Matthews, president of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. "AMRP has already helped us lower our methane emissions and the EPA's challenge will help us maintain steady progress on emissions as we continue to upgrade our natural gas delivery system."

Peoples Gas last week joined 40 other partners and Janet McCabe, EPA's acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, at an event during the Global Methane Forum in Washington, D.C., to kick off the Methane Challenge.

About Peoples Gas

Peoples Gas, a subsidiary of WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC), is a regulated natural gas delivery company that serves approximately 830,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the city of Chicago. You can find more information about natural gas safety, energy efficiency and other energy-related topics at

For More Information, Contact:

  • Scott Alwin

WEC Energy Group