The charitable arm of NiSource Inc., whose Massachusetts subsidiary was blamed for a series of natural gas pipeline explosions in 2018, is providing $10 million to support nonprofits in the three communities impacted by the tragedy.
The NiSource Charitable Foundation, the parent company of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, said the grants for up to $250,000 each would be provided over five years. The grants may be used to support assistance for food, shelter and heating, as well as economic/job development, emergency assistance and environmental stewardship.
“Even though NiSource may not be operating in Massachusetts in the future, it is still important to us to continue to stand with and support the communities of Andover, Lawrence and North Andover,” said NiSource CEO Joe Hamrock.
A federal and state investigation of the September 2018 tragedy found that overpressurized gaslines operated by Columbia Gas caused a series of explosions in September 2018 in Western Massachusetts in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, north of Boston.
The series of explosions killed one man, injured nearly two dozen people and damaged about 131 buildings.
Following the inquiries, NiSource agreed to pay millions to settle a class action lawsuit, as well as federal and state fines. In addition, Columbia Gas agreed to cease doing business in Massachusetts and sold its assets in the state to Eversource Energy for $1.1 billion.
NiSource said the grant applications are being accepted until Dec. 4, and recipients would be notified in March.
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