State Lawmakers Holding Hearing on Natural Gas Safety

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers are holding a hearing on natural gas safety following September’s explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley.

The state legislature’s Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy will hear from Columbia Gas CEO Stephen Bryant, other utility company executives and state officials at Tuesday’s State House hearing.

The hearing will be focused on the “safety of natural gas systems and the oversight performance of the state Department of Public Utilities.”

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has filed legislation requiring natural gas projects be reviewed by a certified professional engineer.

That recommendation came from the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the Sept. 13 incident.

The explosions killed one teen, injured about two dozen, damaged more than 100 structures and left thousands without heat or hot water.

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