National Grid issued the following statement about the reports from the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration surrounding the Aquidneck Island gas supply interruption from January 2019:

“Last winter we experienced an unprecedented gas supply event.  The Aquidneck Island community and National Grid were part of extraordinary response that included a thousand employees and tens of thousands of residents coming together to help each other through those challenging days and nights. Everything we did in the minutes, hours, and days following was driven by a need to ensure the safety of our customers.

Since then, we have been working hard to learn from that event and take what actions we can to provide secure energy for Aquidneck Island.  Over the last several months, we have fully cooperated with the federal investigation as well as the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers in their summary investigation.  We have answered hundreds of data requests, and met with them on multiple occasions to help determine what can be done to help protect against another supply interruption.  

Although we don’t agree with everything in the report, we are pleased the Division’s report reflects National Grid’s fundamental commitment to safety and our exemplary emergency response.  And we are appreciative of their diligence in examining all aspects of the incident, including the areas where we excelled and where we could improve.  In fact, we have already addressed many of the proposed recommendations included in their report, securing additional winter gas supplies, expanding our energy efficiency and demand response programs, and improving long-range planning.

While we will carefully review these reports over the coming days, the findings confirm our concerns regarding operations of the Algonquin transmission system. Had the transmission system performed as expected, the outage would not have occurred. More importantly, we are focused on the winter ahead and Rhode Island’s energy future. The Aquidneck community should have confidence that gas reliability and future gas service on the Island are a top priority for us.  As the local gas distribution company, we are here working with our communities and taking the steps necessary to meet this objective. We want to do everything possible to secure the ongoing energy needs of Aquidneck Island.”

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.