SECTION 1: Chapter 164 of the General Laws Section 144 shall be amended as follows:
(2) amend “whenever appropriate and feasible, a gas company shall…” to “Gas companies shall, immediately, notify the fire department and chief law enforcement officer…”
(3) insert after a Grade 2 leak… prior to “The gas company…” insert Grade 2 leaks shall be reported as soon as feasible, but at a minimum monthly to the local fire department and chief law enforcement officer…
(4) insert at end of paragraph: Grade 3 leaks shall monthly be reported
(5) The utility, local fire and local police departments shall all generate reports related to each event including the time, date, location including specific address where available or clearly identifiable location where no street address exists. These reports shall indicate the individual who responded to the event and steps taken to mitigate if any. Any cost related to the compilation, distribution, and maintenance of this information shall be borne by the gas company.
(c) add at end: In the event that the gas company is responsible for any significant project on a public way, the gas company shall repair the site pursuant to all current codes and at the expense of the gas company. The gas company shall monitor, maintain, and bear responsibility to repair the site for a minimum of five years.
(e) add at end: These reports shall be made available to the public and shall be posted on the website used by the gas company and on the department website.
(g) annually, or more frequently if the department deems appropriate, the department shall review the number of certified pipeline inspectors to ensure that the sufficient number of inspectors are actively engaged in pipeline inspection throughout the commonwealth.
(h) Failure to comply with any provision of this section shall be a factor for the department to consider negatively to deny or reduce a utility’s request for a rate increase.
(i)The department is authorized to establish and enforce financial penalties for failure to comply with any provision.
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