September 19, 2018 - 4:10 PM EDT
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Columbia Gas of Massachusetts Withdrawing Pending Rate Case

Complete focus on serving customers following Greater Lawrence area incident

MERRILLVILLE, Ind., Sept. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, a unit of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), today announced it will withdraw its pending rate case and pending settlement following the Sept. 13 natural gas incident in the Greater Lawrence area.

"Our team is fully committed to restoring the affected communities, rebuilding peace of mind and reestablishing trust in our company," said Columbia Gas of Massachusetts President Steve Bryant. "This action is fully necessary at a time when we must maintain our focus on supporting our customers."

The case was originally filed in April 2018 with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU).

As announced earlier this week, Columbia Gas will replace the entire 48-mile cast iron and bare steel natural gas distribution system serving 8,600 customers in the affected areas. A comprehensive replacement plan is expected to be announced as early as this week.

The system in the area will be replaced with new plastic lines that feature modern safety features, including pressure regulation and excess flow valves.

Columbia Gas is in the midst of a multiyear program to modernize its gas distribution system and replace cast iron and bare steel pipeline systems across the state. The commitment to accelerate that work in the affected area, while larger in scale than a typical modernization project, is necessary in light of recent events. The company remains committed to the modernization of all of its pipeline systems.

The Sept. 13 incident remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

About Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts delivers clean, affordable and efficient natural gas to over 320,000 natural gas 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.  More information about Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is available at www.ColumbiaGasMa.com

About NiSource
NiSource Inc. (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 across seven states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. Based in Merrillville, Indiana, NiSource's approximately 8,000 employees are focused on safely delivering reliable and affordable energy to our customers and communities we serve. NiSource has been designated a World's Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute since 2012, is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability - North America Index and was named by Forbes magazine as the top-rated utility among America's Best Large Employers in 2017. Additional information about NiSource, its investments in modern infrastructure and systems, its commitments and its local brands can be found at www.nisource.com. Follow us at www.facebook.com/nisource, www.linkedin.com/company/nisource or www.twitter.com/nisourceinc. NI-F

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. Investors and prospective investors should understand that many factors govern whether any forward-looking statement contained herein will be or can be realized. Any one of those factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Examples of forward-looking statements in this press release include statements and expectations regarding NiSource's or any of its subsidiaries' business, performance, growth, commitments, investment opportunities, and planned, identified, infrastructure or utility investments. All forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that management believes to be reasonable; however, there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, forecasts, estimates, plans, expectations and strategy discussed in this press release include, among other things, NiSource's debt obligations; any changes in NiSource's credit rating; NiSource's ability to execute its growth strategy; changes in general economic, capital and commodity market conditions; pension funding obligations; economic regulation and the impact of regulatory rate reviews; NiSource's ability to obtain expected financial or regulatory outcomes; any damage to NiSource's reputation; compliance with environmental laws and the costs of associated liabilities; fluctuations in demand from residential and commercial customers; economic conditions of certain industries; the success of NIPSCO's electric generation strategy; the price of energy commodities and related transportation costs or an inability to obtain an adequate, reliable and cost-effective fuel supply to meet customer demands; the reliability of customers and suppliers to fulfill their payment and contractual obligations; potential impairments of goodwill or definite-lived intangible assets; changes in taxation and accounting principles; potential incidents and other operating risks associated with our business; the impact of an aging infrastructure; the impact of climate change; potential cyber-attacks; construction risks and natural gas costs and supply risks; extreme weather conditions; the attraction and retention of a qualified work force; advances in technology; the ability of NiSource's subsidiaries to generate cash; tax liabilities associated with the separation of Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc.; NiSource's ability to manage new initiatives and organizational changes; the performance of third-party suppliers and service providers; the availability of insurance to cover all significant losses and other matters set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors" section of NiSource's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 and in other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A credit rating is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities, and may be subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating organization. In addition, dividends are subject to board approval. NiSource expressly disclaims any duty to update, supplement or amend any of its forward-looking statements contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.

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SOURCE Columbia Gas of Massachusetts


Source: PR Newswire (September 19, 2018 - 4:10 PM EDT)

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