Gas Outage in RI Linked to Frozen Valve in Weymouth

A natural gas line feeding into Aquidneck Island in RI was shut off on Monday, leaving more than 7,000 customers without access to gas for their homes. New reports have found that the drop in pressure at the end of the line may be linked to a frozen valve at Enbridge’s Metering and Regulating station in Weymouth. Yep, that same frozen valve that caused a major leak just 2 years ago — a leak that was not detected by Enbridge. has more on this story - Gas outage cause tracked back to Mass.:

"The natural-gas outage on Aquidneck Island appears to have its origins in a single faulty valve that may be located dozens of miles away in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

That’s where two major transmission pipelines that supply gas to New England meet up and where the valve that froze and caused system pressures to drop precipitously in parts of Middletown and Newport is believed to be.

National Grid, the utility that distributes natural gas in Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts, has a station in Weymouth that takes gas from the transmission lines owned by the Canadian firm Enbridge and sends it out to customers through its network of pipes. …

This is not the first time there has been a problem with the Algonquin system in the region. In January 2017, a 1-inch relief valve at the Enbridge metering station in North Weymouth, Massachusetts, froze and released gas into the air in an incident that was reported by neighbors who smelled the leak. The company came under criticism when representatives admitted at a town meeting that while it does have pressure readers on larger valves, it doesn’t monitor small valves of the type that failed, according to the Quincy Patriot Ledger.

And in March 2017, a high-pressure gas main in Providence that an Enbridge contractor was working on decoupled and leaked gas with enough force that people on nearby streets reported hearing a roaring sound. The leak closed down Route 195, one of the state’s main transportation arteries, and streets in the area for three hours until it could be repaired."

Excerpt from The Patriot Ledger: “Officials and residents also say it further raises concerns about the gas company’s ability to monitor its equipment. Spectra Energy-Enbridge wants to a 7,700-horsepower compressor station on the banks of the Fore River, near the metering station. …

Arena called it “an antiquated, overworked system” and the company refused to address the issues.

“It speaks to the fact that (the company) has no responsibility to provide anything to anybody except money to themselves,” she said.”