On Monday, December 31, 2018, the Senate passed An Act ensuring the safety and soundness of the commonwealth’s natural gas infrastructure, previously passed by the House, and Governor Baker signed it into law as Chapter 339 of the Acts of 2018..
This new law included an emergency preamble and took effect immediately. Chapter 339 of the Acts of 2018, An Act Further Providing for the Safety of the Commonwealth’s Natural Gas Infrastructure (“Act”). Section 2 of the Act amends G.L. c. 164 by adding Section 148, which provides:
"Any engineering plans or specifications for engineering work or services that could pose a material risk to public safety, as determined by the [Department of Public Utilities (“Department”)] pursuant to clause (l) of section 81R of chapter 112, developed by or on behalf of a gas company shall bear the stamp of a professional engineer certified under section 81E of said chapter 112; provided, however, that any such plan or specification shall be housed within the applicable gas company, subject to review and audit by the department, and shall be deemed to be filed with a public authority within the meaning of section 81M of said chapter 112. Section 2 of the Act further states that the Department may promulgate regulations as necessary to implement G.L. c. 164, § 148 (“Section 148”) and applicable provisions of subsection (l) of section 81R of said chapter 112.1"
Gas companies will be required to have PEs in responsible charge of certain gas projects. Some routine work has been going on in consultation with PEs, but now the regulatory process is ramping up.
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