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The city of Ellensburg’s Natural Gas Utility was presented the American Public Gas Association’s (APGA) System Operational Achievement Recognition or SOAR award for excellence in operating its natural gas utility, according to a news release.

Out of approximately 750 APGA members, the city of Ellensburg Natural Gas Utility was selected for SOAR level Bronze by its peers on the APGA Operations and Safety Committee. The selection was based on demonstrated excellence in the four areas of system integrity, system improvement, employee safety, and workforce development.

System integrity refers to the natural gas distribution system performing its overall intended function safely, efficiently and effectively, distributing energy to all customers without being degraded or impaired by its internal or external environment.

System improvement refers to keeping the natural gas system well maintained and up to date through a self-improvement program that includes both an eye on the future through research and development, technology integration and a commitment to system improvement programs.

Systems that exhibit excellence in employee safety include adopting a safety program that includes policies and procedures for education involvement and accountability for all employees, as well as tracking safety performance.

Lastly, workforce development focuses on creative recruitment, training, education and development practices that provide a return on investment through increased employee loyalty, motivation, safety and productivity.

The city of Ellensburg Natural Gas Utility was one of 25 SOAR recipients recognized in 2020, joining the 39 previous SOAR award recipients. The system also received a plaque signifying the city of Ellensburg Natural Gas Utility’s commitment to and achievement in excellence in operating a natural gas utility system.

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