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Challenge Accepted: Columbia Gas of Massachusetts Joins the Environmental Protection Agency’s Methane Challenge Program as Founding Member

Mar 31, 2016

Committed to reducing methane emissions by over 39 million cubic feet

Westborough, MA - Columbia Gas of Massachusetts today joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program as a founding member. The voluntary partnership program was launched today at the Global Methane Forum in Washington, D.C.

Through the current five-year Methane Challenge Program commitment, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is investing approximately $65-70 million per year on the systematic modernization of systems, which are designed to improve safety and reliability for customers and reduce emissions. These investments over the five-year period will replace approximately 230 miles of priority pipe and reduce methane emissions by over 39 million cubic feet.

Over the past five years, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts replaced approximately 200 miles of priority pipe, reducing methane emissions by over 33 million cubic feet.

“Building a safer, more reliable, cleaner and affordable energy future is core to NiSource’s sustainability goals and we’re proud to be a founding member alongside other industry leaders,” said Steve Bryant, President of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts. “Through the best management practices outlined in the Methane Challenge Program, we will further reduce emissions while improving safety and service for our customers and communities.”

Through the five-year program commitment, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts will replace a minimum of five percent per year of cast iron and bare steel pipelines remaining in its natural gas system, replacing it with state-of-the-art coated steel or plastic pipe.

The Methane Challenge Program is an integral part of the EPA’s ongoing commitment to address methane emissions and global climate change. The program provides a framework through which oil and gas companies can make and track commitments to reduce methane emissions.

The EPA noted that this new program has the capability to comprehensively and transparently reduce emissions and realize significant voluntary reductions in a quick, flexible, cost-effective way.

About Columbia Gas of Massachusetts

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts delivers clean, affordable and efficient natural gas to more than 300,000 customers in southeastern Massachusetts, the greater Springfield area and the Merrimack Valley. Headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, the company is the largest gas-only provider in the state and is one of NiSource’s seven regulated utility companies.  NiSource (NYSE: NI) is one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands.  NiSource has been designated a World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute since 2012 and is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability—North America Index.  More information about Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and NiSource is available at www.ColumbiaGasMA.com or www.nisource.com.

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