October 26, 2018

Senators Warren and Markey Decry Announced Delay in “House Ready” Deadline for Merrimack Valley Residents Impacted by Gas Explosions and Fires

Boston, MA – Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey released the following statement after Columbia Gas announced an expected delay in meeting the target of having all customers impacted by the September 13 explosions and fires “House Ready” by November 19.
“As temperatures fall, so do the odds that Columbia Gas will fix everyone’s homes in time to meet the initial November 19 deadline. More resources, more people, whatever it takes – that is what Columbia Gas needs to commit immediately to make sure Merrimack Valley residents have homes that are repaired and ready to have gas service turned back on for the winter season. Temperatures are dropping, and any delay in meeting its deadline means thousands of Merrimack Valley families and children will remain in jeopardy of freezing cold weather.
“It is hard to believe that Columbia Gas did not know from the outset that it would encounter these obstacles. We need a detailed explanation for why the company did not take into account the issues that it now cites as the reasons for this delay.”
Senators Warren and Markey have been leading the investigation of the Merrimack Valley explosion and fires, requesting information on the company’s safety protocol, as well as securing a Congressional hearing in the region in the coming weeks. Yesterday, the Senators requested that the Appropriations Committee include emergency funds for home heating assistance in the next upcoming funding package.