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Judge lifts court order against Ala. newspaper

An Alabama judge has lifted a temporary restraining order banning the Montgomery Advertiser from publishing public documents it obtained from a gas company.

The newspaper had obtained, through an open records request to the state’s Public Service Commission, a copy of Alabama Gas Corp.’s Integrity Management Plan, which contained information about the age and condition of gas pipes in communities such as Montgomery, Birmingham and Selma.

Alagasco argued that publishing the location of the pipes raised the risk for terrorism. Judge Robert Vance originally agreed but, in lifting his restraining order, wrote that “while such possibilities might exist, they now appear to be only vague phantoms,” according to the story from USA TODAY.

The Advertiser, owned by Gannett, is partnering with USA TODAY on a broader, nationwide investigation about the age and condition of gas pipes. It’s set for release today.

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