Joe Hamrock, President and CEO of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), parent company of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, today released the following statement on the release of the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) preliminary report regarding the Greater Lawrence area gas incident that occurred on September 13, 2018:
"Today the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating pipeline accidents, issued its preliminary report regarding the events of September 13th. The company is fully cooperating with the NTSB and provided information to assist in its ongoing investigation into relevant facts related to the event, the probable cause, and its development of safety recommendations.
"As a party to the NTSB investigation, we are prohibited from discussing or speculating on the cause of the incident or facts related to it until the NTSB has completed its work. However, we can say that, because safety is our top priority, in the hours immediately after the incident we suspended similar work and enhanced procedures related to our low pressure systems. We saw these as responsible steps to take in the aftermath of the incident and while the facts were being gathered.
"As we have said before, we remain focused on three key areas: Taking Care of People: We continue to work with state and local leaders and a broad network of community partners to meet the needs of the people affected by this incident and to keep them fully informed as the recovery effort moves forward. Ensuring Safety: All of our actions are driven by our commitment to the safety of our customers, our communities and our employees. Regaining Trust: We are working to restore gas service as quickly as possible and are committed to taking the steps needed to re-earn the trust of our customers, communities, and public officials.
"I'm very proud of the strong, dedicated team driving the restoration effort in the streets and homes of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover. We continue to expect completion by November 19th."