It’s amazing what people can do when they work together. That was the thought that struck me upon learning about the response to the Merrimack Valley incident last fall in Massachusetts.
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and its parent company, NiSource, gathered their contractor partners to quickly and efficiently repair the damage after excessive pressure in natural gas pipelines in the region caused a series of explosions.
We’re excited to bring you an inside look at the massive mobilization and logistics challenges that went into the repair work and service restoration efforts. Associate editor Mike Kezdi breaks it all down in the cover story, “All Hands on Deck.”
How the companies involved responded and worked together to solve this challenge is a testament to the strong sense of duty that companies in the pipeline industry have to ensure that energy infrastructure is safe and reliable. Working together, they were able to turn a negative incident into a positive result.
In the span of five weeks, 13 contractors responded by sending more than 1,000 employees to replace 45 miles of pipeline and recertify another 13 miles. There were so many workers that they hired a cruise ship to serve as temporary housing. All that, and the project was completed three weeks ahead of schedule. It was a huge logistical challenge, but the end result was a local community showing their thanks by supplying food and beverages to the workers and displaying “Thank You” signs in their front yards.
This story serves as a powerful case study on how to respond to emergencies. It’s stories like this one that the pipeline industry should feel proud telling. In an age when it seems every misstep is highlighted by opposition groups, the best response is to show how those missteps were corrected and how the industry is dedicated to public safety and service.
I’m amazed at the incredible undertaking this project required, and I’m proud we are able to share the details in this issue. Never underestimate the power of teamwork.
“Together we stand,
divided we fall
Come on now people,
let’s get on the ball
and work together
Come on, come on
let’s work together”
— Canned Heat,
“Let’s Work Together” (1970)