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GSEPs Pursuant to 2014 Gas Leaks Act

Pursuant to G.L. c. 164, § 145, each gas company must annually submit to the Department of Public Utilities a plan to replace leak-prone natural gas pipeline infrastructure. These plans are known as the Gas System Enhancement Plans or GSEPs.

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Gas System Enhancement Plan Working Group

In July 2022, the Massachusetts State Legislature passed An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind, St. 2022, c. 179, which requires the Department of Public Utilities to convene a stakeholder working group to develop recommendations and legislative changes to align the GSEPs with statewide emission limits, as well as encourage development of geothermal systems.

The working group members are: 

  • Cecile Fraser, Acting Chair, Department of Public Utilities
  • Elizabeth Mahony, Commissioner, Department of Energy Resources
  • JoAnn Bodemer, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General
  • Bonnie Heiple, Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection
  • Senator Michael Barrett, Chair, Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy
  • Representative Jeffrey Roy, Chair, Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy
  • Stephen Woerner, President, National Grid
  • William Akley, President, Gas Business at Eversource
  • Robert Hevert, Senior Vice President, Unitil
  • Tatiana Roc, President, Liberty
  • Sue Kristjansson, President and Chief Operating Officer, Berkshire Gas
  • Jerry Oppenheim, Co-Owner, Democracy and Regulation
  • Jenifer Bosco, Senior Attorney, National Consumer Law Center
  • Pete Dion, General Manager, Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department
  • John Buonopane, President, Local 12012
  • Heather Takle, President and CEO, Power Options
  • Audrey Schulman, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, HEET
  • Jonathan Buonocore, Research Scientist, Boston University School of Public Health
  • Priya Gandbhir, Staff Attorney, Conservation Law Foundation

Note: Some GSEP Working Group members have designated alternative members from their organizations to represent them.

The next meeting of the GSEP Working Group is scheduled for June 7, 2023.  Below are links to the notices and agendas for the upcoming meetings of the GSEP working group:

Below are archived working group notices, agendas and minutes:

Below are redlined edits to the current GSEP statute submitted by working group members:

History of Gas System Enhancement Plans

In 2014, the Massachusetts Legislature passed An Act Relative to Natural Gas Leaks (the “Gas Leaks Act”). The Gas Leaks Act permitted local distribution companies to submit to the DPU annual plans to repair or replace aged natural gas infrastructure in the interest of public safety and to reduce lost and unaccounted for gas ("LAUF").

In 2022, the Massachusetts Legislature passed An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind, St. 2022, c. 179, which amended G.L. c. 164, § 145.  The amendments require the gas distribution companies to consider including the use of advanced leak repair technology to repair any existing leak-prone gas pipe to extend the useful life of the such gas pipe by no less than 10 years and replacing gas infrastructure with utility-scale non-emitting renewable thermal energy infrastructure, such as geothermal systems.

On or before October 31st of each year, the gas distribution companies are permitted to submit annual Gas System Enhancement Programs (“GSEPs”) for replacement of aged (non-cathodically protected steel, cast-iron, and wrought-iron) infrastructure during the following calendar year. 

On or before May 1st of each year, the gas distribution companies reconcile the prior year’s forecast with actual costs incurred.

Prior Gas System Enhancement Plans Orders

Any decisions issued on GSEPs can be found in the DPU's Docket FileRoom by entering the docket number in the search bar, e.g. “16-GSEP-XX” (XX = 01 for Unitil; 02 for Berkshire Gas; 03 for National Grid; 04 for Liberty; 05 for Eversource Gas Company of Massachusetts (formerly Bay State Gas); and 06 for NSTAR Gas).

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