News Flash

Lawrence Press Releases

Posted on: September 12, 2019

Statement from Mayor Rivera on Columbia Gas

Mayor Daniel Rivera releases the following statement regarding today’s announcement by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities concerning Columbia Gas work on abandoned service lines:

This compliance issue, at its core, is a public safety issue. While Columbia Gas insists there is no immediate threat to public safety, I do not believe they are a credible source. Upon finding out about this issue, I met with major department heads and told Fire Chief Brian Moriarty and Police Chief Roy Vasque to be prepared to respond to any and all utility emergencies. This afternoon, I was briefed by Columbia Gas compliance team about the impact to Lawrence and their plan to fix this problem. As always, we are prepared and available to respond to any and all emergencies.

Since this oversight begs the question, what other compliance was overlooked or safety measures missed? I have been in communications with the Department of Public Utilities and the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to see what other steps can be taken to ensure that we are safe on our homes while using gas.

At the very least, because Columbia Gas knew about this issue on July 30th and waited until the evening of September 11th- less than 48 hours before the anniversary of the gas disaster- DPU should immediately fine Columbia Gas $1M per day for the last thirty-three days that they sat on this information and did not communicate with DPU or any of the communities. This lack of transparency costs us time otherwise spent fixing the problem. Not only does this slow down the process of road restoration work that Lawrence was about to begin, it once again puts our back against a wall to fix a gas problem with the impending cold weather.

We are grateful for the state’s continued vigilance in holding Columbia Gas accountable and ensuring that they fulfill their responsibilities to Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. We will be monitoring the progress Columbia Gas makes with their compliance checks over the next several weeks and we encourage residents who have concerns to reach out directly to Columbia Gas. While Columbia Gas insists there is no danger to the public, I would like to reiterate that residents should always call 911 first if they smell gas, and that they should call Columbia Gas directly with any questions regarding their home gas service. Residents with abandoned service lines should expect a direct phone call from Columbia Gas to schedule an appointment and ensure compliance with the gas company’s obligations.

Residents may reach out to Columbia Gas at (866) 388-3239 with any questions related to this situation. A list of addresses that may be affected can be found at the link below.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Lawrence Press Releases

COL Website News Preview

Voting Locations for Nov. 2nd

Posted on: November 1, 2021
COL Website News Preview (1)

Mayor Vasquez Held Memorial Vigil

Posted on: March 17, 2021
Lawrence COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall

Lawrence COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall

Posted on: March 4, 2021
COL Website News Preview

Human Rights Commission Relaunch

Posted on: February 17, 2021
75+ Vaccine Call Center

Call Center for Vaccine Appointments

Posted on: February 3, 2021

No Trick-or-Treating in Lawrence

Posted on: October 26, 2020
Emergency Rental Assistance Program (1)-page-001 (1)

$1.6M COVID-19 Emergency Rent Assistance

Posted on: October 20, 2020
Voting Box

Early Voting Starts in Lawrence

Posted on: October 16, 2020

LPD Earns Community Policing Award

Posted on: September 11, 2020

Outdoor Recreation Expands 6/12

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Lawrence Phase 2: 6/15

Posted on: June 8, 2020

City: $1M for COVID-19 Testing

Posted on: May 22, 2020

$300 Fine for Not Wearing Mask

Posted on: April 28, 2020

60 Day Eviction Moratorium

Posted on: March 13, 2020

Officer of the Month Recognized

Posted on: February 12, 2020

DPU Hearing in Lawrence

Posted on: January 24, 2020

Officers of the Month Recognized

Posted on: November 13, 2019

Free Bus in Lawrence 3 MVRTA Routes

Posted on: September 9, 2019

Lawrence Educates on EEE

Posted on: August 27, 2019

Duck Bridge Restricted Opening

Posted on: August 8, 2019

City Invests in Speed Bumps

Posted on: July 29, 2019

Lawrence gets $40K for Recycling

Posted on: July 22, 2019

Iluminación Lawrence

Posted on: May 28, 2019

Mayor Submits 6th Balanced Budget

Posted on: May 16, 2019

360 New Jobs Unitex Moves to Lawrence

Posted on: March 26, 2019

City Credit Rating Increased

Posted on: February 11, 2019

Mayor Promotes Top Officers

Posted on: August 1, 2017