NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), parent company of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, today released the following statement in response to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)’s safety recommendation report regarding the event of September 13th in the Merrimack Valley:
We are thoroughly reviewing the safety recommendations issued today and look forward to discussing them in further detail with NTSB. We will continue to work with NTSB as it works toward issuing its final conclusions.
Since the September 13 event, NiSource has identified, and moved ahead with, new steps to enhance system safety and reliability and to safeguard against over pressurization. Some of these measures have already been completed and others are in process.
Notably, these NiSource-wide safety measures will include fail-safe measures called for in NTSB’s recommendations today: We have committed to an approximately $150 million program to install over-pressurization protection devices on all our low-pressure systems. These “slam-shut” devices – which will be in operation continuously, not only when work is underway – operate like circuit-breakers, so when they sense operating pressure that is too high or too low, regardless of the cause, they immediately shut down gas to the system. The program will also include installing remote monitoring devices on all low-pressure systems so that gas control centers have an ability to monitor pressure at regulator stations in real time, 24/7.
In addition, we already have conducted a field survey of all regulator stations and initiated an engineering review of those regulator stations; we are verifying and enhancing our maps and records of low-pressure regulator stations; and we initiated a process so that NiSource personnel will be present whenever excavation work is being done in close proximity to a regulator station.
NiSource has an obligation to our customers, employees, and partners to continuously evaluate risk from a systemic perspective—and our commitment to safety remains steadfast.
About Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts delivers clean, affordable and efficient natural gas to over 320,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Massachusetts, the greater Springfield area and the Merrimack Valley. Headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, the company is the largest gas-only provider in the state and is one of NiSource's seven regulated utility companies. NiSource (NYSE:NI) is one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. More information about Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is available at ColumbiaGasMA.com.
NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) is one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across seven states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. Based in Merrillville, Indiana, NiSource's approximately 8,000 employees are focused on safely delivering reliable and affordable energy to our customers and communities we serve. NiSource has been designated a World's Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute since 2012, is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability - North America Index and was named by Forbes magazine as the top-rated utility among America's Best Large Employers in 2017. Additional information about NiSource, its investments in modern infrastructure and systems, its commitments and its local brands can be found at NiSource.com. Follow us at Facebook.com/NiSource, LinkedIn.com/company/NiSource or Twitter.com/NiSourceinc.