For Immediate Release | 10-29-18   
 Media Contact | Holly Ward   
 Direct | 602-542-3847   
 E-Mail | hward@azcc.gov   
     
 

Pipeline Safety Inspectors to Assist Massachusetts Recovery Effort

 
 

PHOENIX — Arizona pipeline safety inspectors will provide emergency aid to Massachusetts after a series of natural gas line explosions destroyed pipeline service in Merrimack Valley. Two inspectors, Daniel Hickey, and John Caughlin, from the Arizona Corporation Commission Pipeline Safety Section begin work today to support gas line restoration efforts.

“We are pleased to share our pipeline experts in a time of need for this community,” said Corporation Commission Chairman Tom Forese. “What happened was tragic, but we are committed to helping our neighbors restore gas lines and get back in their homes and day-to-day routines.”
On September 13, 2018, a series of explosions occurred in Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts killing one, destroying homes, and leaving 11,000 households and 800 businesses without gas service. The cause was determined to be excessive pressure in natural gas lines. Today, crews are working to replace 44.5 miles of mainline gas pipes replacing more than 6,000 service lines that connect homes and businesses to the mainline pipe. Gas service remains shut off to most of the 7,740 gas meters in the area.
The two Arizona inspectors will assist crews in pipeline inspections through November 24. Their participation will be coordinated through an Emergency Management Assistance Compact with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. The pair will join other emergency response crews to complete a team of up to eight certified inspectors each week. Participating pipeline safety inspectors must be qualified under Code of Federal Regulations 49 CFR 192 and have completed PHMSA Training and Qualification Courses PL1250 Safety Evaluation of Gas Pipeline Systems course and PL1310 Plastic and Composite Materials Systems Course.
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About the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC)
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) was established in 1996 and stands today as the cornerstone of the Nation's mutual aid system. EMAC offers assistance during governor declared states of emergency through the transfer of services and assets to impacted areas via legal contracts signed between requesting and assisting states. These contracts identify what is needed, how long it is needed and how much cost will be incurred by the requesting state. EMAC contracts also provide liability coverage and allows for credentials, licensing and certifications to be honored across state lines. More information can be found at https://www.emacweb.org/.
 
ABOUT US
The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit http://azcc.gov.