September 19, 2018

Senators Warren and Markey Call on Columbia Gas to Provide Robust Financial Assistance to Impacted Merrimack Valley Gas Explosion Residents

An estimated 8,000 were displaced and dozens of homes damaged or destroyed in deadly explosions and fires

Washington, DC – Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) today called on Columbia Gas of Massachusetts to immediately commit whatever financial resources are necessary to ensure that every affected resident in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover has the resources needed to rebuild their lives now and made economically whole in the wake of the September 13 gas explosions and fires that killed one and injured dozens more. The company recently made a $10 million donation to a charitable fund to assist residents who could go weeks and perhaps months without gas service. In their letter, the Senators point to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) San Bruno gas explosion in 2010 when the utility made up to $100 million available for recovery efforts and community rebuilding.
“I hope that Columbia Gas will look to other financial responses to disasters, including the PG&E response from the San Bruno incident, and improve its response to those affected in the Merrimack Valley,” write the Senators in their letter to Columbia Gas of Massachusetts President and COO Stephen Bryant. “Immediate robust financial assistance is imperative to ensure that residents have the resources they need to live in the immediate and to rebuild their communities and lives in the long-term.”
A copy of the Senators’ letter can be found HERE.
In the wake of the explosions and fires, Senators Warren and Markey demanded answers from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, NiSource, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to provide answers about the September 13 explosions. The Senators have also called for a Congressional hearing on the accident.