Friday, November 16, 2018

National Urgent Safety Recommendations (NTSB) - Massachusetts pipeline explosions

My office received from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) their interim Safety Recommendation Report on the Over-pressure of a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts Low-pressure Natural Gas Distribution System.

Here are the recommendations from the NTSB:
To the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:

1.       Eliminate the professional engineer licensure exemption for public utility work and require a professional engineer's seal on public utility engineering drawings. (P-18-005)

To NiSource, Inc.:

2.       Revise the engineering plan and constructability review process across all of your subsidiaries to ensure that all applicable departments review construction documents for accuracy, completeness, and correctness, and that the documents or plans be sealed by a professional engineer prior to commencing work. (P-18-006) (Urgent)

3.       Review and ensure that all records and documentation of your natural gas systems are traceable, reliable, and complete. (P-18-007) (Urgent)

4.       Apply management of change process to all changes to adequately identify system threats that could result in a common mode failure. (P-18-008) (Urgent)

5.       Develop and implement control procedures during modifications to gas mains to mitigate the risks identified during management of change operations. Gas main pressures should be continually monitored during these modifications and assets should be placed at critical locations to immediately shut down the system if abnormal operations are detected. (P-18-009) (Urgent)

The full interim report can be found here:


Media Alert: On the Air on Boston 25 at 4 PM

Today I was interviewed by Boston 25's Crystal Haynes about the Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions. Please tune in to the 4 pm newscast to watch our discussion


Thursday, November 15, 2018


Italian American Police Association Celebrates 50th Anniversary With Awards Presentations

Boston- The Massachusetts Italian American Police Association, a non-profit organization of men and women of Italian-American descent and heritage affiliated with law enforcement, awarded Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester) as the recipient of the Saint Michael the Archangel Award at their recent 50th annual awards meeting.

Saint Michael, considered the patron saint of police officers, paramedics, firefighters and the military, is the namesake of the association’s service award. Senator Tarr was nominated for his outstanding commitment and dedication to public service to the people of the Commonwealth.

“Senator Tarr understands that the men and women of law enforcement are expected to perform duties that are both routine and extraordinary often under difficult conditions and he has always been there to support us in our work,” said Association President Martin Gabriella. “The Senator’s outstanding efforts merit induction into the Honorable Order of Saint Michael the Archangel.”

“I am honored to receive the Saint Michael award from those who keep us safe and whose contributions make our cities and towns stronger,” said Senator Tarr. “To be considered worthy of sharing in this honor with former state governors, a U.S. President, and members of the law enforcement community is humbling.”

Past recipients of the Saint Michael award have included George W. Bush, Governors John Volpe, Michael Dukakis, and Paul Cellucci, Attorney General Francis Belloti and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo.

The associated presented Medals of Valor to two Groveland Police Department officers, Detective Steven Petrone and Officer Daniel Richmond, for performing an act of bravery in the line of duty. The pair successfully performed a daring life-saving rescue of a motorist who had crashed her vehicle through an ice covered pond in Groveland. In addition, the Marconi Award was presented to state Representative Steve Ultrino and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross was given the Law Enforcement Distinguished Community Service Award.

Senator Tarr lauded the Groveland officers for their unflinching action in hazardous rescue. “The crashed vehicle was 30 feet into the water and officers Petrone and Richmond took immediate action knowingly placing themselves in immediate danger,” said Senator Tarr who represents the town of Groveland. “Their actions were heroic and they deserve to be distinguished for their valor.”

Founded in 1968, the Italian American Police Association has annually chosen recipients based on their contributions to protect public safety.

The Massachusetts Association of Italian American Police Officers has been at the forefront of providing support and recognition of the work of law enforcement officers of Italian American descent and heritage. Their mission includes insuring that national heritage is never an impediment to their profession.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Gloucester's Christmas Tree Has Arrived

Following a more than 1,300 mile round trip, our Gloucester team has returned from Shelburne, Nova Scotia with a magnificent Christmas tree. My brother Brent "Ringo" Tarr, Joe Novello and Nick Curcuru left three days ago for our sister city in Canada to get the tree - part of an annual exchange between the communities.

Soon, a team of dedicated volunteers will decorate the tree and Kent Circle, and there will be a festive tree lighting at 4 PM on Sunday, November 25th with music, refreshments and plenty of holiday spirit.

A few photos from this year and a look at the recent past. Please save the date.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Media Alert: On the Air on WCVB Channel 5 at 11 PM

Tonight I was interviewed by WCVB Channel 5's Mary Saladna about upcoming Senate Hearings on the Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions. Please tune in to the 11 pm newscast to watch our discussion


Merrimack Valley Gas Fires and Explosions To Be Subject of Senate Hearings

My office released the following statement today about announced Senate hearings-

 “The severe and ongoing hardships experienced by residents, local businesses, and the tragic loss of life caused by the gas explosions and fires in Andover, Lawrence and North Andover. These disruptive, disquieting and disturbing circumstances, must be carefully examined, and a pair of Senate oversight hearings in December are intended to do just that.

Gas companies are regulated utilities and we must understand the events and circumstances that caused the situation. The legislature has an important role to play with state regulators to make sure their operations are safe, effective and efficient.

Given the toll these events have taken on the Merrimack Valley, it is imperative that we conduct thorough hearings to examine what went wrong and what legislative or regulatory actions might be employed to prevent any future similar incidents anywhere in the state in the future. While the scale of the Merrimack Valley incident is unprecedented, we must do everything possible to prevent any threats from natural gas to public safety in our Commonwealth.”

Senator Tarr is a member of the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy and he represents residents of North Andover, one of the communities impacted by the September 13th gas fires.


Veterans Breakfast

Happy to co-host a Veterans Breakfast at First Church in Ipswich this weekend with Representative Brad Hill. Great attendance, and great work by Chef Ron Elkin and many volunteers for a special event to say thanks to those who have served our nation.