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Merrimack Valley Gas Company Announces No-Cost Repair Plan

The gas company at the center of last September's Merrimack Valley natural gas disaster has announced a no-cost appliance repair plan for affected customers.

Columbia Gas released details Monday of a plan that covers all repairs to and installations of natural gas appliances and equipment, internal gas piping, and related labor that customers were provided as a result of multiple explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover on Sept. 13, 2018.

Residential customers will receive required repairs to both new and repaired gas appliances free of charge until May 1, 2020. Business customers can get free repairs until a year from the installation or repair provided as a result of the incident.

“We remain committed to providing long-term service and support to our affected customers in the Greater Lawrence Area," ssaid Mark Kempic, chief operating officer of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts.

Customers need not contact manufacturers themselves. If they have any appliance issues, Columbia Gas requests that they call their 24/7 Affected Customer Helpline at 1-866-388-3239.

The utility company said they will manage repairs by sending liscenced professionals to customers' homes and businesses who will address any appliance issues.

Columbia Gas announced previously that they will replace any boilers or furnaces installed as a temporary fix in reponse to losses caused by the explosions by Sept. 15, 2019.

This announcement comes as a continued response by the utility company to a series of gas pipline explosions that killed an 18-year-old and displaced hundreds of others in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover for months. Many are still recovering.

The company came under fire from lawmakers a few weeks ago for increasing rates on customers affected by the explosions and demanding backpayment for gas service.

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