The State of Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities & Carriers announced today that their division has opened an investigation into National Grid Natural Gas Service Interruption on Aquidneck Island.

The Announcement

On behalf of all Rhode Island customers of National Grid, the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers today initiated a new phase of the investigation into the natural gas service interruption on Aquidneck Island.

The Division has been collecting exploratory data from the onset of the interruption while its primary focus remained on service restoration. Today, the DPUC announced that it has launched a summary investigation to address the events of January 21, 2019 and any conditions that may have contributed to the loss of natural gas pressure to National Grid customers in Newport and Middletown.

National Grid owns and operates the local natural gas distribution system in Rhode Island. Enbridge Inc. owns and operate the Algonquin Transmission Pipeline that brings natural gas to New England. The Division’s regulatory authority extends only to National Grid’s distribution system, however the Division is working closely with relevant federal authorities, including the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) who regulate the Algonquin interstate pipeline, to inform a comprehensive review of the January 21st service interruption.

While the investigation proceeds, the Division will continue to work as the ratepayer advocate to ensure that the interests of all Rhode Island customers are protected in any related future rate proceedings before the Public Utilities Commission.

The Division will issue a report on its findings once the investigation is concluded.