Bill would require engineer to review dangerous gas work

charlie baker merrimack valley gas explosions fire

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is asking state lawmakers to require natural gas projects be reviewed by a certified professional engineer. 

Baker, a Republican, said the bill filed Tuesday is in response to a recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the natural gas explosions and fires that rocked three Merrimack Valley communities in September.

The board said in a report last week that a licensed engineer could have potentially spotted critical oversights and prevented the Sept. 13 disaster. 

Most states, including Massachusetts, exempt public utilities from such requirements. 

The incident killed one person, injured about 25 others and damaged or destroyed more than a hundred buildings.

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