United States v. Bay State Gas Company, d/b/a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
The United States Attorney’s Office has charged Bay State Gas Company, doing business as Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (“Columbia Gas”), with violating the federal Pipeline Safety Act, 49 U.S.C. § 60123(a), 49 U.S.C. § 60118(a), and 49 C.F.R. §§ 192.605(a) and 192.605(b)(5). As part of the plea agreement, Columbia Gas has agreed to plead guilty to this offense and pay a criminal fine of approximately $53 million. The United States Attorney’s Office has also entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the parent company of Columbia Gas, NiSource, Inc. based in Indiana, which, among other provisions, requires that NiSource make reasonable best efforts to sell Columbia Gas, forfeit any profit from the sale to the Government, and once sold stop all gas pipeline activities in Massachusetts.
Support Affected Businesses
Social Media Contest
SHOP. SHARE. WIN $100.
November 27-December 28
Shopping local? Shout it out on Facebook or Instagram for a chance to win a $100 gift card. Here’s how it works:
Visit a business in Andover, North Andover or Lawrence.
Snap a photo and share it out with #RockTheRegister.
A new winner will be selected at random each week. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations may apply. No purchase necessary.
Our communities have so much to offer and we want to celebrate that in a way that drives spending and generates lots of positive buzz about our shops, restaurants and service providers.
So, in an exciting new program aimed at helping businesses and households in the areas affected by last year’s Columbia Gas explosions city and town officials are mailing $30 Rock the Register Nift cards to 8,000 residences in the impacted areas of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. The cards can be used at participating local businesses. It’s a win-win for residents and businesses.
City of Lawrence
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Samsung Solve for Tomorrow
by LHS ENLACE Program
In Lawrence, Massachusetts, a high school team of English-language learners new to the community were driven to help their new neighbors after a series of gas explosions in rocked their town and environs, a tragedy that destroyed dozens of homes and claimed the life of a teenager. Using a 3D printer, the students designed a safety valve to help prevent future gas line blasts due to high pressure – and earned themselves the National Finalist title in the contest.
Team teacher Shaddai Vargas, an art teacher in Lawrence High School’s ENLACE (Engaging Newcomers in Language & Content Education) program, said that their efforts to address the threat garnered much media attention, as well as interest from the gas company responsible.
“They looked at our prototype and were amazed because it had a lot in common with a safety device they were planning on buying,” Vargas said. “That let us know that we were going in the right direction, and students felt really proud of their work.”
Vargas’s students have faced an added challenge in the contest to overcome language barriers while learning the STEM skills critical to designing the prototype, but said the results have been worth it.
“Students realize that all their efforts will serve as scaffolding for upcoming students’ efforts, which has given them even more purpose,” said Vargas. “It’s an honor for us to be able to raise awareness among schools about implementing STEM and show how it can align with community needs.”
Lawrence Made Resiliency
by Groundwork Lawrence's Green Team
When applying for a grant with the MCC (Mass Cultural Council), The Green Team at Groundwork Lawrence decided to pay a tribute to everyone effected by the Gas explosions by creating an art piece.
For this project, our team has decided to carve the words, "Lawrence Made" into a pipe and place pictures inside of the pipe that go from left to right to make a visual timeline of the tragedy and of the work that citizens put in to help others. These pictures are going to be illuminated by lights that wrap around the inside of the pipe, so that the pictures are easier to see.
This project is meant to show the resilience of the Lawrence community and the people who were effected by the explosions. This shows that no matter what the circumstance, our community comes together to help each other. This piece shows that we are LAWRENCE MADE AND LAWRENCE STRONG.
The Boiler Project
by Elevated Thought
To honor and recognize the experiences of Lawrencians on the first anniversary of the Gas Crisis, The Boiler Project, directed and edited by Wilfred Acosta, Michael T., and Adriel Jimenez.
This is a story of resilience from members of the Lawrence community.
"We want to take the time to thank everyone who came and supported. Thank you as well to everyone involved in the process, especially the residents of Lawrence who shared their stories for the film."