Message from Pat Hawthorne and Mike Travieso
As many of you know from recent news reports, BGE has embarked on a multi-year project to install external gas regulators to more than 11,200 gas customers by 2031. Residents from eight community groups (including Federal Hill, Fells Point, Canton, and Pig Town) filed a complaint in Baltimore City Circuit Court aimed at stopping BGE from installing the gas regulators and turning off gas services to homeowners who have refused to let BGE install the equipment. The circuit judge who heard the case ordered BGE to temporarily halt the installation of the regulators and to restore gas service to residents whose service was cut off. A second hearing will be held on Monday, July 10th, at 2:00 p.m. at the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse, 100 W. Calvert Street. Since the initial complaint was filed, several more city communities have joined the consortium, Justice for Baltimore, opposing the installation of the regulators. Baltimore attorney Thiru Vignarajah is providing pro bono representation to individuals and communities who are opposed to the installation.
To date, we have not received official notice about when BGE would like to work in our area, but it’s important that we get as much information about what BGE is proposing to do and come up with a plan and recommendations for our TCNA neighbors who currently have gas service or who are considering installing it in the near future. We will be discussing the issue at the next TCNA Board Meeting on Wednesday, July 19th, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Lower Level Game Room at the Broadview. If you have concerns or want more information, please attend the meeting. Councilwoman Odette Ramos will be in attendance.
The concerns and objections of those groups who have joined Justice for Baltimore are that the regulators are unsightly and damaging to historic homes in particular. They also maintain that external regulators are not necessary for safety reasons and, in fact, may be more risky than ones installed on the interiors of homes. We have included a fact sheet put together by Justice for Baltimore and links to an affidavit and client agreement allowing representation by Mr. Vignarajah that can be submitted on-line by residents who wish to do so now. We are investigating whether TCNA should become a signatory or whether it should be left to individual homeowners.
Lastly, we encourage as many residents as possible to attend the hearing on the 10th. A courtroom packed with as many concerned citizens as possible will have a significant impact on the outcome of the case.
Pat Hawthorne Mike Travieso
Co-President, TCNA Co-President, TCNA