Columbia Gas of Massachusetts today announced it will withdraw its pending rate case and pending settlement following the Sept. 13 natural gas incident in the Greater Lawrence area.
“Our team is fully committed to restoring the affected communities, rebuilding peace of mind and reestablishing trust in our company,” said Columbia Gas of Massachusetts President Steve Bryant. “This action is fully necessary at a time when we must maintain our focus on supporting our customers.”
The case was originally filed in April 2018 with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU).
As announced earlier this week, Columbia Gas will replace the entire 48-mile cast iron and bare steel natural gas distribution system serving 8,600 customers in the affected areas. A comprehensive replacement plan is expected to be announced as early as this week.
The system in the area will be replaced with new plastic lines that feature modern safety features, including pressure regulation and excess flow valves.
Columbia Gas is in the midst of a multiyear program to modernize its gas distribution system and replace cast iron and bare steel pipeline systems across the state. The commitment to accelerate that work in the affected area, while larger in scale than a typical modernization project, is necessary in light of recent events. The company remains committed to the modernization of all of its pipeline systems.
The Sept. 13 incident remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.