Feds recommend new requirements after natural gas disaster

BOSTON (AP) — Federal officials are recommending stronger nationwide requirements for natural gas systems following last September’s natural gas explosions and fires in Massachusetts.

The National Transportation Safety Board says Tuesday that gas utilities should be required to install gas additional safeguards to pipeline systems similar to the one involved in the Sept. 13, 2018, disaster.

It also recommended states require all natural gas infrastructure projects be reviewed by a licensed professional engineer.

The board concluded Columbia Gas of Massachusetts poorly planned a routine pipeline replacement project and then inadequately responded to the disaster.

A Columbia Gas spokesman said the report will help the company, natural gas industry and others learn from the tragedy.

A teenager died, dozens of other people were injured and more than 100 structures were damaged in the incident.

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