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Long Island

Grid to spend $1.98M in settlement involving gas explosion

The utility will spend the bulk of the money on special devices to limit the flow of gas when service to a building is damaged.

National Grid will spend $1.98 million on programs and equipment to stem gas-leak explosions as part of a state settlement in lieu of penalties following a 2015 explosion in Water Mill.

The utility faced a penalty of up to $6 million for the violations, including upwards of $100,000 a day for the two months between the day a customer requested a gas service shut-off at the Hamptons home and the fiery explosion, which left two workers severely injured.

Under a settlement approved Thursday by the state Public Service Commission, National Grid will spend $1.48 million on special devices that limit the flow of gas when service to a building is damaged. The company will spend another $500,000 on programs to teach small contractors and homeowners about the importance of reaching out to utilities before they start interior renovations or demolition work.

The settlement stems from a 2015 incident in which two contractors had to be airlifted to a hospital with severe injuries when work on a Water Mill home caused a gas leak that led to the explosion. A Department of Public Service probe found National Grid had failed to disconnect or lock service to the home at the customer’s request months before. A second violation was for not following its own shut-off procedures, the agency said.

PSC chairman John B. Rhodes said the agency will “hold utilities strictly accountable when they do not comply with our rigorous gas safety rules.”

A National Grid spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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