Regulators Order Columbia Gas To Stop All Except Emergency Work

8 hours ago

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has ordered a moratorium on all but emergency repair work by Columbia Gas in all areas of the state.

   The order followed the release Thursday of a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board that blamed over-pressurization in the pipeline system operated by Columbia Gas for last month’s explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley.

   Columbia Gas has 100,000 customers in greater Springfield and Northampton.

    Climate activist Marty Nathan said the disaster has stirred opposition to a pipeline expansion project by Columbia Gas in western Massachusetts.

    "It is one in-our-face reason to move off of gas," said Nathan.

    The DPU order does not affect the emergency restoration work in the Merrimack Valley.