Today thirteen of our highly-trained natural gas workers set off for the East Coast to help restore natural gas service to thousands of residents in Massachusetts who rely on the fuel to heat their home. The crews, who volunteered for this mutual aid mission, will spend the next two weeks conducting safety checks inside homes, testing gas lines and repairing any leaks so that gas service can be safely turned back on before winter arrives.
They will be joined in Lawrence, Massachusetts by crews from across America, including about two dozen gas workers from our sister utility, SoCalGas.
Columbia Gas put out a request for support following a series of natural gas incidents last month that left more than 10,000 customers without service. Most residents in Massachusetts rely on natural gas to heat their homes in the winter, and cold weather is fast approaching
Mutual Aid: Jumping in to Help Each Other In Times of Need
Following an emergency, utilities workers are called upon to safely and efficiently restore service to affected areas. Through a well-established mutual aid system, utilities impacted by a major event can increase the size of their workforce by “borrowing” restoration workers from other companies in unaffected areas. Companies often turn to other utilities in time of need – and our crews routinely respond to those calls for help. For example, our electric crews have helped with restoration efforts in fire-ravaged Northern California, and we even have sent crews to Puerto Rico to help with restoration efforts following Hurricane Maria.
Stringent Safety Standards
Public safety has always been our highest priority. We have stringent safety controls in place for operating and maintaining our pipeline system. Our employees, who undergo rigorous technical training, continually assess and inspect the safety and integrity of our pipeline system. We meet or exceed all federal and state requirements for safe pipeline operations and maintenance.
In addition, we have made significant investments to test the integrity of our gas pipelines and modernize infrastructure to newer, more stringent standards.