NiSource says 'thoroughly reviewing' NTSB safety recommendation report
NiSource released the following statement in response to the National Transportation Safety Board's safety recommendation report regarding the event of September 13th in the Merrimack Valley: "We are thoroughly reviewing the safety recommendations issued today and look forward to discussing them in further detail with NTSB. We will continue to work with NTSB as it works toward issuing its final conclusions. Since the September 13 event, NiSource has identified, and moved ahead with, new steps to enhance system safety and reliability and to safeguard against over pressurization. Some of these measures have already been completed and others are in process. Notably, these NiSource-wide safety measures will include fail-safe measures called for in NTSB's recommendations today: We have committed to an approximately $150 million program to install over-pressurization protection devices on all our low-pressure systems. These "slam-shut" devices - which will be in operation continuously, not only when work is underway - operate like circuit-breakers, so when they sense operating pressure that is too high or too low, regardless of the cause, they immediately shut down gas to the system. The program will also include installing remote monitoring devices on all low-pressure systems so that gas control centers have an ability to monitor pressure at regulator stations in real time, 24/7. In addition, we already have conducted a field survey of all regulator stations and initiated an engineering review of those regulator stations; we are verifying and enhancing our maps and records of low-pressure regulator stations; and we initiated a process so that NiSource personnel will be present whenever excavation work is being done in close proximity to a regulator station. NiSource has an obligation to our customers, employees, and partners to continuously evaluate risk from a systemic perspective-and our commitment to safety remains steadfast."