Senator Markey Statement on Columbia Gas Mitigation and Replacement Plan
Boston (September 21, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after Columbia Gas of Massachusetts announced the next phase of recovery and replacement activities for the Merrimack Valley and the communities of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover after the explosions and fires of September 13 that killed one, injured others, and displaced more than 8,000 residents.
“The electricity is back on, but residents of Merrimack Valley are still in the dark about what happened on September 13,” said Senator Markey. “As Columbia Gas starts work to replace 48 miles of pipeline, we need to know they have learned from this disaster. Every single family needs concrete answers about when this work will be completed, when their gas will be restored, and that the work is being done safely. Instead of answers to these questions, so far Columbia Gas has only sowed chaos and confusion for these communities.
“Columbia Gas needs to commit whatever financial resources are necessary to help families immediately, and make them 100% whole in the long-term. The company must also provide assurances that it will be Columbia Gas and not our ratepayers who will foot the bill for these repairs. Fall and winter are coming and families in the Merrimack Valley need to know that they will not be left out in the cold.”
Today, Senators Markey and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on Columbia Gas of Massachusetts to provide information and assurances about other low-pressure natural gas distribution systems in Massachusetts in the wake of the deadly accident.