Agency: Gas Lines Safe; State Utility Regulators Questioned in Wake of Massachusetts Disaster

Agency: Gas Lines Safe; State Utility Regulators Questioned in Wake of Massachusetts Disaster

State energy regulators offered assurances this week that they have safeguards to prevent the kind of disaster seen in northern Massachusetts last month, where natural gas fires and explosions killed one person and forced thousands from their homes — even as some in the industry said they’re worried that the state is under-reporting leaking lines and not doing enough to fix them.

At a meeting Wednesday of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority in New Britain, Chairwoman Katie Dykes responded to a letter from two state legislators asking for a comprehensive overview of the state’s energy infrastructure by calling Connecticut’s pipeline leak-detection program one of the most “robust” in the country.

PURA teams carry out roughly 450 field inspections a year, Dykes said, to review design, operations, and maintenance of the pipeline system and to test emergency preparedness to ensure compliance with safety standards…(Read the full story)

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