State Utility Regulators Open Public Hearings into Valley Gas Explosions

First responders and media gathered in Lawrence in the wake of gas-related fires across the Merrimack Valley Sept. 13, 2018. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

State utility regulators are ready to visit the Merrimack Valley as they probe the September 2018 overpressurization incident that caused widespread explosions, fires and damage in the Columbia Gas communities of Andover, Lawrence and North Andover.

The Department of Public Utilities in October opened two investigations, looking into the company’s responsibility for the Sept. 13, 2018 events, its restoration efforts following the disaster, and its compliance with federal and state pipeline safety laws and regulations.

This month, the DPU scheduled a pair of public hearings in the affected communities.

The DPU plans a 6 p.m. hearing Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the North Common Education Campus, 233 Haverhill St., Lawrence. On Monday, Feb. 10, the DPU plans to hold a 6 p.m. public hearing at the J. Everett Collins Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Shawsheen Road, North Andover.

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