Bill Would Require Engineer to Review Dangerous Gas Work

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is asking state lawmakers to require natural gas projects be reviewed by a certified professional engineer.

Baker, a Republican, said the bill filed Tuesday is in response to a recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the natural gas explosions and fires that rocked three Merrimack Valley communities in September.

The board said in a report last week that a licensed engineer could have potentially spotted critical oversights and prevented the Sept. 13 disaster. Most states, including Massachusetts, exempt public utilities from such requirements.

Baker also announced Tuesday $10 million in additional funding from utility company Columbia Gas to support business recovery efforts.

The incident killed one person, injured about 25 others and damaged or destroyed more than a hundred buildings.

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