PSE&G Responds to Aid Columbia Gas of MA

Sends 54 Employees to Help with Gas Restoration

(NEWARK, N.J. – October 10, 2018) Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), New Jersey’s largest utility, is sending 48 gas service technicians and six gas supervisors to once again assist Columbia Gas of Massachusetts as they work to ensure the continued safety of area residents in response to the Sept. 13 natural gas explosions.

On Sept. 14, some 50 PSE&G employees spent about six days working with Columbia Gas to check homes and shut off gas meters as part of emergency response efforts.

“Our employees answered the call to help Columbia Gas immediately after the incident,” said Joe Forline, PSE&G vice president of gas operations. “We’re in a position to once again help with the restoration process. PSE&G employees will arrive tomorrow and be engaged for a six-week period, working on service restoration.”

Chris LaRossa, PSE&G district manager, regulatory policy and procedure, said PSE&G crews will be going home by home to disconnect all gas appliances and check piping.

“We’ll pressure test homeowners’ pipes to make sure it’s safe to reintroduce gas, look for leaks and complete any necessary repairs,” LaRossa said. “All work will be checked and cleared by certified plumbers to ensure safety. We’re undertaking this work to help our fellow gas company reintroduce service to the 8,600 customers affected in a safe and timely manner.”

Investigators have said they believe the explosions were caused by an over pressurized system. PSE&G has multiple safety systems in place to protect against over pressurization. Distribution piping systems are engineered with equipment to protect against over pressurization, should a piece of equipment fail. Also, detailed worker procedures are in place to ensure tasks are executed in a safe manner.

PSE&G responds to reports of gas leaks 24 hours a day within 60 minutes to make the area safe and repair any damaged infrastructure. The utility also conducts regular leak surveys, focusing in particular on the areas where cast iron mains are located. Excavators are reminded to call 811 before they dig.

PSE&G also supports a safe, clean and reliable gas network through the accelerated replacing of aging pipes, under our Gas System Modernization Program. By the end of 2018, some 450 miles of cast iron and unprotected steel pipes will have been replaced with modern ones. Another 875 miles of pipes are scheduled to be replaced, starting in 2019 through 2023.

What to do if you smell gas:

If you smell gas, hear hissing or suspect a leak -- act fast.

  • Leave your home immediately and take others with you. When outside, get far away (at least 350 feet) from where you suspect the gas is leaking.
  • Open windows before you leave, if the odor is faint.
  • Call PSE&G at 1-800-880-PSEG (7734), or call 911.
  • If you suspect a gas leak do NOT:

  • Attempt to determine the source of the odor.
  • Light a match.
  • Turn appliances and flashlights on or off.
  • Start a car.
  • Use a telephone or cell phone.
  • Ring a doorbell.

More gas safety tips are available on our website:

# # #

Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population.  PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability.  PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company.