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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 GSEP Working Group Final Report and Recommendations was presented to the Legislature on January 31, 2024.

GSEP Working Group Final Report and Recommendations 

Gas System Enhancement Plan Working Group Members

The working group members are: 

  • James Van Nostrand, Chair, Department of Public Utilities
  • Elizabeth Mahony, Commissioner, Department of Energy Resources
  • Mary Gardner, 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, 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.

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).

Working Group Revised Redlines: January 19, 2024

These revised redlines to the Outline for Final Report and Recommendations were submitted by working group members.

Additional Resources

Working Group Presentations: November 6, 2023

These presentations were given at the November 6, 2023 GSEP Working Group meeting.

Additional Resources

Working Group Presentations: October 20, 2023

These presentations were given at the October 20, 2023 GSEP Working Group meeting.

Additional Resources

Working Group Redlines: October 2, 2023

These redlines were provided by the working group members for discussion at the October 2, 2023 meeting.

Additional Resources

Gas Company GSEP Presentations: September 19, 2023

These presentations were given by the gas companies at the September 19, 2023 GSEP Working group meeting.

Additional Resources

Archived Notices, Agendas and Meeting Minutes

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