Western Mass. Hearings Sought After Gas Explosions In Merrimack Valley

Oct 3, 2018

Firefighters at a house in North Andover, MA, which was one of three Merrimack Valley municipalities hit by a series of gas explosions and fires on Sept. 13.
Credit Adam Glanzman / Getty Images

    A state legislator is calling for public hearings in western Massachusetts with Columbia Gas Company officials to find out more about last month’s gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley.

   State Rep. Bud Williams of Springfield said the legislature needs to look at possible changes to regulatory oversight in the aftermath of the tragedy.  

   Just as importantly, he said, people need to hear directly from Columbia Gas officials.

    "You know we've been in the dark on this basically," said Williams.  "I've gotten enough phone calls to know this is on the minds of our citizens."

           The day after the explosions, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said he asked the city’s fire commissioner and DPW director to set up a meeting with Columbia Gas representatives to discuss safety.

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