Gas Company Reported 760 Miles of Risky Pipes a Year Before Explosions
New Hampshire Union Leader
Nearly a year before dozens of explosions and fires ripped through three Merrimack Valley communities, Columbia Gas identified more than 750 miles of leak-prone pipeline that needed to be replaced, according to documents filed with the Department of Public Utilities.
The project would replace 320 miles of gas pipe between 2017 and 2021, according to a plan filed with the DPU by Columbia. It is unclear how much has been replaced, but a project timeline called for 50 miles to be replaced in 2017 and 60 miles in 2018.
All together, Columbia said it has 760 miles of pipe that need to be replaced across its three service areas in Massachusetts. In order to pay for the replacement, Columbia asked the DPU to allow it to pass on $26.8 million to ratepayers.
Columbia did not respond to requests for comment. However, Columbia Gas withdrew its request to increase gas distribution rates by $33 million in the wake of the explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley last week…(Read the full story)