Press Release

Press Release Independent Evaluator Selected for Statewide Safety, Policy Review of Natural Gas Distribution System

For immediate release:
11/01/2018
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Department of Public Utilities

Media Contact for Independent Evaluator Selected for Statewide Safety, Policy Review of Natural Gas Distribution System

Katie Gronendyke

BOSTONThe Department of Public Utilities today announced the selection of Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems, Inc. to conduct an independent statewide examination of the safety of the natural gas distribution system and the operational and maintenance functions of natural gas companies in the Commonwealth. The review is intended to assess, out of an abundance of caution, the current safety of pipeline infrastructure throughout the Commonwealth. Through authority granted by Governor Baker under a State of Emergency declared on September 14, 2018, the Department’s Chair will direct all natural gas distribution companies operating in the Commonwealth to fund this statewide review.

“This comprehensive safety review will further the steps taken by our Administration to ensure the safety of communities, and the integrity of the Commonwealth’s energy infrastructure,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration looks forward to the Independent Evaluator’s findings as they conduct a statewide review of the natural gas distribution system.”

“The Department of Public Utilities’ commitment to the safety of residents and the Commonwealth’s energy infrastructure will be furthered by Dynamic Risk’s examination,” said Department of Public Utilities Chair Angela O’Connor. “The Department looks forward to reviewing the assessment and any recommendations contained within the evaluation of the physical condition and safety of the distribution system, as well as the operational and maintenance functions of natural gas companies.” 

Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems, Inc., evaluated and selected by a team from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Department of Public Utilities, will examine the physical integrity and safety of the natural gas distribution system and the operation and maintenance policies and practices of all natural gas distribution companies operating within the Commonwealth. Additionally, the independent evaluator will produce a report with any necessary recommendations.  The examination will complement, but will not duplicate, the investigation of the National Transportation Safety Board, which focuses on the gas incident on September 13, 2018 in the Merrimack Valley and its potential causes.

“Dynamic Risk is very pleased to have been awarded this very important project to assess gas pipeline safety,” said Patrick Vieth, Dynamic Risk’s Executive Vice President. “The Independent Review Panel that has been assembled, along with the expertise across our organization, is well suited to meet the needs of all stakeholders. We look forward to working with the Department of Public Utilities for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Dynamic Risk, based in Texas, advises energy companies in Canada, the United States of America, and around the world on the risk and integrity management of assets and overall operational efficiencies. Dynamic Risk has provided industry-leading technical expertise related to pipeline risk and integrity management for decades, and works to enhance pipeline safety and reliability for clients, and identify measures to eliminate pipeline failures by effective identification and assessment of threats and consequences.

The Department of Public Utilities and Dynamic Risk will finalize the contract in the coming days and the statewide review will begin immediately. In accordance with the contract, Dynamic Risk will produce a preliminary report within an estimated 90-120 days, and then, subject to consultation with the Department, will continue with further evaluation.

 

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Media Contact for Independent Evaluator Selected for Statewide Safety, Policy Review of Natural Gas Distribution System

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

EEA seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Department of Public Utilities 

The DPU oversees investor-owned electric power, natural gas, and water companies in Massachusetts. In addition, the DPU regulates the safety of bus companies, moving companies, and transportation network companies. We also oversee the safety of natural gas pipelines.

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