Columbia Gas of Mass. Sentenced to $53M Fine, Probation, Sell Co.

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (NiSource) never quite recovered (reputationally) from a series of explosions in September 2018 that occurred with its local delivery pipelines north of Boston (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). The explosions and resulting fires tragically killed one teenager and injured 25 others. It left some 8,600 households and businesses without natural gas for months. Several class action lawsuits were filed against the company, which got settled last summer for $143 million (see Columbia Gas Pays $143M to Settle Lawsuit from Mass. Explosions). The company has reached a plea deal to (a) sell the company, and (b) pay the largest criminal fine ever imposed under the Pipeline Safety Act.

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