Citizens Energy Group Begins Construction on $7.5 Million in Safety Upgrades to Natural Gas Network

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With federal funds via the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Citizens’ natural gas system will soon be fully comprised of safer and more efficient plastic or protected steel pipes.

INDIANAPOLIS – Citizens Energy Group (“Citizens”) today announced the start of construction activities on a multi-year, multi-phase project to upgrade the final four miles of aging, cast iron natural gas piping within a 4,000-mile distribution network. In 2023, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation) awarded Citizens $7.5 million to replace legacy infrastructure with protected steel or plastic pipes which are more resistant to corrosion and leaks. 

Construction will begin just east of the intersection of Fall Creek and Keystone Avenue. Pipe replacement work in 2024 will be focused along the Rural Street corridor, between Fall Creek and 30th Street.

“With Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization grants like this one, PHMSA is effectively improving our American natural gas networks and thereby further increasing public health and public safety outcomes in our communities,” said J.P. Ghio, Vice President of Energy Operations for Citizens Energy Group.

The identified four miles of underground pipeline will be upgraded with new natural gas pipeline infrastructure known to reduce the potential for emissions of methane. Building on decades of pipeline safety improvements, Citizens’ natural gas distribution system has been recognized as one of the safest, best maintained urban gas utilities in the United States, a comparison confirmed by an ongoing leak detection study by the Environmental Defense Fund.

“We’re proud of our Citizens employees who skillfully demonstrated to PHMSA grantmakers that the Indianapolis area is an effective candidate to receive these funds and make these upgrades,” said Ben Warren, Director of Gas Transmission and Distribution for Citizens Energy Group. “And we’re excited to be included in a cohort of other grant recipients from across the country who are prioritizing making our natural gas distribution systems safer year after year.”

Nationwide, PHMSA grants are funded by $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to be awarded to community- or municipality-owned gas distributional systems in the coming years.

Locally, the areas hosting Citizens’ replacement projects are in the vicinity of the Avondale Meadows, Martindale Brightwood, and Far Eastside neighborhoods. Citizens continues to claim and direct funding for utility safety upgrades in neighborhoods that need it most across the totality of the service area.

“The safety of our infrastructure systems is critical for our neighborhood's vibrancy,” said Barato Britt, President & CEO of Edna Martin Christian Center. “Investment in the long-term sustainability, security, and health of our community is welcomed as this effort aligns perfectly with Martindale Brightwood's resident-led Quality of Life goals. Citizens' commitment to continued community engagement also helps ensure neighbors are informed of improvements made for their benefit."

For more information on construction progress and phasing, please visit

About Citizens Energy Group
Citizens Energy Group provides safe and reliable utility services to about 900,000 people in the Indianapolis area. Citizens operates its utilities for the benefit of customers and the community.

Media Contact Information
Ben Easley
Phone: 317-519-1515