LAWRENCE, Mass. (CBS/AP) — Massachusetts members of Congress are proposing new federal pipeline safety requirements in response to September’s natural gas explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley.

U.S. Senator Ed Markey and U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan say they’ll announce the proposed legislation Monday at a fire station in Lawrence.

The Democrats say their bill addresses deficiencies revealed by the Sept. 13 incident by “closing regulatory loopholes and increasing safety standards” for pipeline distribution systems.

They’ll be joined Monday by local officials and the family of Leonel Rondon, the Lawrence teen killed in the disaster. The bill is named in honor of Rondon.

Leonel Rondon (Facebook photo)

“It certainly was preventable and therefore this death is senseless. But I know how honored the Rondon family is, how grateful they are,” said Rondon family attorney Doug Sheff.

“I cannot imagine anyone voting against this safety measure, this is not a partisan issue, this is a safety issue,” he added.

The gas explosions were triggered by overpressurized gas lines and injured dozens of people, damaged hundreds of buildings and left thousands of customers without natural gas service for months.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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