A US Senate committee will hold a hearing in the coming weeks in the Merrimack Valley to look into the Sept. 13 explosions that killed a teenager, displaced thousands of residents, and left people without gas heat and hot water.
In a joint statement, the offices of Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey said the lawmakers “received a commitment from the leadership on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to hold a hearing in the Merrimack Valley on the September 13 Columbia Gas explosions and fires.”
The release said Markey “is a member of the Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over both the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which regulates natural gas transmission and distribution lines, and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigates pipeline accidents. The hearing will be held in a location to be determined in the coming weeks.”
More than 80 gas fires and explosions were reported in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover that day, leaving dozens injured and thousands of residents without gas heat and hot water. The NTSB is investigating what caused the disaster, which is believed to have occurred when there was higher-than-normal gas pressure in the underground pipes.