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Board Meeting: Overpressurization of Natural Gas Distribution System, Explosions, and Fires, in Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts, September 13, 2018 - Closing Statement
Robert L. Sumwalt
NTSB Boardroom and Conference Center
9/24/2019

​In closing, I would like to thank the staff for your hard work. I also want to thank my colleagues for their preparation going into the board meeting, and for the good debate and discussion. Member Homendy, you and I both launched to the scene, and I thank you for your on-scene presence.

Special thanks also to investigator-in-charge Roger Evans. But nothing gets done around here by one person; everything happens through team effort. On behalf of the Board, a sincere “thank you” not only to the investigative staff but to the support and program staff as well.

It is gratifying that NiSource and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts acted quickly on our urgent and other early recommendations. In acting on them, they have made their pipelines—and other utilities in the state—safer.

Today’s new recommendations, if acted upon, will make pipeline transportation safer nationwide, through inclusion of PEs in projects such as gas main replacements, and through application of overpressure protection.

And, they will make emergency response more effective, both throughout the NiSource network, and throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

We stand adjourned.