The Southern Tier's major natural gas pipeline poses a public safety risk due to defective welds that could lead to a rupture, according to a recent federal report.

The Millennium Pipeline, which runs more than 180 miles from Steuben County to Rockland County, has been under investigation since a leak was detected Jan. 11 near Schneider Road in the Town of Owego.

The New York State Department of Public Service conducted a five-month investigation, and determined that a 1/8-inch leak caused by a faulty weld released 1.3 million cubic feet of natural gas from the pipeline.

There was no ignition, and no injuries or property damage were reported. Repairs were completed Jan. 16.

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