Pipe Pressure Before Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions Was 12 Times Too High - NECN
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Pipe Pressure Before Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions Was 12 Times Too High

The pressure spike registered in a Columbia Gas control room in Ohio, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey said in the letter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gov., Mayor Address Investigation Into Gas Explosion

    Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera discussed the investigation into last week's gas explosions in Merrimack Valley.

    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018)

    The pressure in natural gas pipelines prior to a series of explosions and fires in Massachusetts last week was 12 times higher than it should have been, according to a letter from the state's U.S. senators to executives of the utility in charge of the pipelines.

    Democratic U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey sent the letter Monday seeking answers about the explosions from the heads of Columbia Gas, the company that serves the communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, and NiSource, the parent company of Columbia Gas.

    "The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has reported that the pressure in the Columbia Gas system should have been around 0.5 pounds per square inch (PSI), but readings in the area reached at least 6 PSI - twelve times higher than the system was intended to hold," the letter said.

    The pressure spike registered in a Columbia Gas control room in Ohio, the senators said in the letter, which requests a reply by Wednesday.

    Residents Line up for Essentials After Gas Explosions

    [NECN] Residents Line up for Essentials After Gas Explosions

    People in Merrimack Valley are still trying to get back to normalcy after the gas fires and explosions that rocked the area.

    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018)

    "We write to request that you provide us with information in order to help the American people understand why this terrible disaster occurred, whether the company was sufficiently prepared to respond to an incident of this magnitude, and how we can prevent any similar tragedy in the future," the senators wrote.

    Dozens of explosions and fires last Thursday killed one person and injured more than two dozen others. About 8,600 customers were affected, and many had to evacuate their homes for days and may have to go without gas service for weeks.

    Columbia Gas President Stephen Bryant on Tuesday announced the utility is donating $10 million to an emergency relief fund for people affected by the emergency.

    The Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund will help residents of the three communities with food, housing and other short-term needs as they recover, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said.

    Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, who has been highly critical of Columbia Gas, said the utility is "living up to their corporate responsibility" with the donation.

    The explosions are under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt has said the investigation is partially focused on pressure sensors that were connected to a gas line that was being taken out of service shortly before the blasts.

    NBC10 Boston Sky Ranger Over Merrimack Valley Disaster

    [NECN] NBC10 Boston Sky Ranger Over Merrimack Valley Disaster

    NBC10 Boston Sky Ranger over the Merrimack Valley, where gas-related explosions caused damage and fires throughout the region.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018)

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