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U.S. Department of Transportation Awards Con Edison Pipeline Research Contract

Radar Will Enhance Damage Protection, Leak Detection

NEW YORK, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) has been awarded a $439,999 pipeline safety research contract by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The company will work in partnership with Witten Technologies and Electromagnetic Instruments, Inc. to develop a 3-D digital mapping system for identifying steel and plastic underground equipment, and detecting leaks.

Commissioned by Con Edison in August 2001 and January 2002, Boston-based Witten Technologies, Inc. produced underground images of lower Manhattan through a ground-penetrating technique called radar tomography. A piece of equipment similar to satellite radar is placed on the back of a truck, which drives directly over the site taking 3-D pictures of utility infrastructure six feet below the surface.

"Radar tomography has already been successful in reducing the digging required to maintain dense underground utility infrastructure," said Mary Jane McCartney, Con Edison's senior vice president of Gas Operations. "DOT's award will allow us to extend similar benefits to leak detection and the prevention of pipeline damage. We look forward to this partnership yielding the same excellent results we have seen in the past."

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said, "By leveraging funding through partnerships, we expect to produce a wide range of research and stimulate the market with beneficial technologies two to three years sooner than would have otherwise been possible."

The partnership team, which includes the U.S. Departments of Energy and Interior, reviewed more than 85 applications for the awards. Additional awards for a second phase of the program are pending. Con Edison's research contract is one of seven awarded by DOT, totaling $1.6 million.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE: ED), one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with more than $8 billion in annual revenues and $18 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York. For additional financial, operations and customer service information, visit Con Edison's Web site at

Brenda Pérez

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