Ray LaHood to Oversee Utility's Safety Efforts

Mar 14, 2019

BOSTON - Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will oversee the safety efforts of the utility company blamed for September's natural gas explosions and fires in Massachusetts.

NiSource said Thursday that the former Republican congressman from Peoria will chair a new board charged with reviewing the company's rollout of a safety management system across the seven states it serves.

The Indiana-based company said the new system will provide a structured and consistent way to identify and reduce risk.

Federal investigators have said the company's Massachusetts subsidiary, Columbia Gas, lacked internal procedures that could have prevented the Sept. 13 disaster.

Overpressurization during a routine pipeline replacement project led to the death of one person, dozens of injuries, hundreds of damaged buildings and thousands of customers without natural gas service for months.