Columbia Gas ordered to stop all non-emergency work in Massachusetts

Hampden County

(WWLP) – The State of Massachusetts is restricting the work of Columbia Gas after its role in last month’s Lawrence gas leaks.

The Department of Public Utilities said Columbia failed to follow certain safety procedures leading up to the leak.

They also said Columbia Gas failed to complete restoration work after last year’s gas line event.

As a result, Columbia Gas will only be permitted to perform emergency work on its gas distribution system. All other work must be approved by the DPU.

In a statement to 22News Friday, Columbia Gas said:

To ensure our customers can feel safe in their homes and businesses, we will be ceasing non-emergency work in Massachusetts effective immediately. We agree with the Department of Public Utilities that this is the appropriate and responsible course of action. We recognize many have lost their sense of security and we take responsibility for that. 

While we have taken significant safety steps over the past year, we fully understand that restoring and maintaining the trust and confidence of all our customers and officials will be a continuing process.

We will continue to work closely with the DPU and government partners on our shared priority of enhancing safety for our customers and our communities.

Joe Hamrock, Chief Executive Officer, NiSource, Inc.

22News will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as we learn more.

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