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Boston pipeline explosions: call for rule changes

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World Pipelines,

The series of explosions and fires that tore through suburban Boston last Thursday has thrown a spotlight on proposed upgrades to safety standards for natural gas pipelines, something that has languished amid opposition from utilities, Bloomberg reports.

“We have been pushing for more regulations for years and there has been some huge regulations in the works but for some reason they have been stalled,” Carl Weimer, Executive Director of the Pipeline Safety Trust in Bellingham, Washington, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. “The industry does a whole lot to slow these things down.”

At least one person died and dozens were injured Thursday after a series of explosions and fires along NiSource Inc.’s natural gas network in Massachusetts.

Investigators say it’s too soon to say what the cause is, but past incidents have led safety advocates to issue proposals for tighter rules or closer oversight that have gone unheeded.

Massachusetts’s two senators, Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, both Democrats, on Friday requested a hearing on the regulation of the nation’s natural gas distribution system.

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