Mass Live: ‘His name was Leonel Rondon. No one should ever forget that.’ Bill named for Lawrence gas disaster victim seeks to regulate federal pipeline safety

US Senator Edward Markey and US Representative Lori Trahan have cosponsored a piece of federal legislation named for Leonel Rondon, the 18-year-old victim of the Merrimack Valley explosions, that would create strict new safety protocols for gas pipeline construction and maintenance, as well as impose significant penalties on companies that violate those regulations. The legislation was drafted in response to an extensive review of pipeline safety and construction by Sen. Markey and Senator Elizabeth Warren, in the wake of the tragic Merrimack Valley disaster. Citing the new penalties as an important step towards a safe energy infrastructure, Sen. Markey said "No more slaps on the wrist, no parking tickets, no penalties that don’t reflect the magnitude of the deadly disaster. The days of sloppy safety culture must be considered to be over”.