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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").
On or before October 31st of each year, the companies are permitted to submit annual Gas System Enhancement Programs (“GSEPs”) for replacement of aged infrastructure during the following calendar year (non-cathodically protected steel, cast-iron, and wrought-iron infrastructure).
On October 31, 2014, seven gas distribution companies submitted GSEPs setting forth their plans for replacing aged pipe during the 2015 construction year. Pursuant to the Gas Leaks Act, all the companies also included a timeline to replace all aged infrastructure on an accelerated basis, specifying an annual replacement pace and a program end date. On April 30, 2015, the DPU approved each company’s GSEP.