The utility company blamed for last September’s natural gas explosions and fires in Massachusetts has tapped former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to oversee its safety efforts.
NiSource said last week the former Republican congressman from Illinois will chair a new board charged with reviewing the company’s rollout of a new safety management system (Sms) across the seven states it serves.
The Indiana-based company said the new system will provide a structured and consistent way to identify and reduce risk, Kallanish Energy understands.
“I am honored that Secretary LaHood has agreed to chair our Quality Review Board and guide our Sms implementation,” said NiSource president and CEO Joe Hamrock. “This is a critical step for our organization as we proactively identify and mitigate risk and take tangible safety actions to protect our customers and communities from harm.”
Federal investigators have said the company’s Massachusetts local distribution company unit, Columbia Gas, lacked internal procedures that could have prevented the Sept. 13 accident.
Overpressurization during a routine pipeline replacement project led to the death of one person, dozens of injuries, hundreds of damaged buildings and thousands of customers without natural gas service for months.
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