Lawrence Mayor Wants Columbia Gas License Revoked
By Alexi Cohan
LAWRENCE -- Preventing another devastating gas disaster in Massachusetts starts with yanking Columbia Gas’ license to operate, according to Mayor Dan Rivera.
“I’ll tell you what, if you take away the license for Columbia Gas people will sit up and fly right,” said Rivera. “I think the DPU can do that.”
When it comes to prevention, Gov. Charlie Baker is leaning on the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation of having a professional engineer associated with projects involving pressurized gas lines.
“That bill thankfully made it through the House and the Senate and we signed it,” said Baker.
City Councilor Jeovanny Rodriguez, who has been an outspoken voice for an emergency response overhaul in the region, said the state is prepared for another disaster, but local government is not.
“We’re used to responding to emergencies but not to preparing for them,” said Rodriguez.
“It’s a matter of when it’s going to happen, because something is going to happen,” he added.
Rodriguez said each gas leak should be treated proactively and taken care of with urgency.
Local officials in Andover and North Andover were happy with Baker’s continued response to the gas explosions.
“People want to know that their leaders show up and support and provide the support that’s necessary and that’s been the case with Gov. Baker,” said North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor.
Andover Town Manager Andrew Flanagan also praised Baker. “Since Day 1 he has been committed to Andover and the Merrimack Valley.”