AGA Submits Comments on Massachusetts Straw Proposal for Requiring PE Design Approvals

On October 11, the Department of Public Utilities shared its straw proposal outlining how natural gas companies are to use professional engineers on complex projects. The DPU identified 14 work activities that would warrant review and approval by a professional engineer. On November 4, AGA submitted comments opposing the broad definition of complex work, and provided recommendations to limit complex work to those functions which pose a material risk to public safety. AGA recommended that the DPU allow operators to submit alternate proposals to the DPU for complex projects based on the operators knowledge of their gas system, and system risk. AGA also requested that the DPU consider expanding the authority for conducting reviews of complex projects to other personnel who have demonstrated key competencies in certain circumstances that would not pose a material risk to public safety. As currently proposed, the professional engineer’s regulations could stop or significantly delay the construction or completion of work meant to enhance the safety and reliability of the pipeline system.