Gas Safety & Consumer fairness
The Merrimack Valley gas explosions last Fall were a tragedy, robbing one young man of his life and forever changing the lives of many people living in that region. After years of changes pushed for and accomplished by reformers including Rep. Ehrlich, the time has come for a more comprehensive approach to public safety and sustainability. Having spearheaded two landmark laws that included the establishment of the uniform gas leak grading system, gas leak repair requirements, and pipe replacement acceleration Rep. Ehrlich this session is filing several gas-related bills.
One of those bills, An Act Ensuring Gas Safety and Consumer Fairness, filed alongside State Representative Christine Barber (Somerville) and State Senator Jamie Eldridge (Acton), strengthens state law concerning the repair of gas leaks across Massachusetts, including leaks near school zones and leaks which create a serious environmental impact, mandates the use of winter patrols, and requires greater transparency by both gas companies and the Department of Public Utilities in how gas leak information is conveyed both to citizens of the Commonwealth and to municipalities. The bill requires that gas companies inform fire departments and law enforcement when leaks are identified, and the bill also disallows gas companies from charging ratepayers for lost and unaccounted for gas.