New England Power Company – Boston, MA
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History of New England Power Company
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Henry Harriman and Malcom Chace set out to build a hydroelectric plant and dam in Vermont in 1906, to provide electric power to the region as well as into its neighbors, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. By 1910, five separate companies were formed to navigate the complex laws around utilities in the three states. The New England Power Company was formed to oversee the development and construction of several hydroelectric power plants in Deerfield, Massachusetts, as well as manage electric lines used to provide power throughout the state. The five companies came to be known in aggregate as the New England Power System, until a merger with three other companies took place in 1926, forming a new, larger entity called the New England Power Association.
Within the next decade, the New England Power association held control over more than 2,000 miles of electric lines, 17 steam plants, and 26 hydroelectric stations, making it a dominating force for power generation in the region. After being forced to reorganize and change its name once again by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the newly-formed New England Electric System (NEES) was the largest electric utility in New England by the mid-1940s, serving over 2.5 million customers. The company expanded operations into nuclear power decades later, with the Seabrook I plant opening in 1990 in New Hampshire.
Asbestos Use at New England Power Company in Boston, MA
Due to the large geographical footprint of New England Power Company around the region, and the vast number of customers it serviced, multiple power plants were built and used to generate the required output. There were high levels of exposure to asbestos at these plants due to the presence of asbestos in the equipment and machinery used by workers, as well as within the structures themselves.
Until the 1980s, asbestos and materials containing asbestos were used abundantly in building construction, including cement, electrical wire, plumbing pipes, floor and ceiling tiles, and both interior and exterior insulation. In addition to building materials, insulation lining had also been present in many steam pipes, turbines and generators, boilers and furnaces, pumps, and other heavy equipment used by workers throughout decades of operation. Daily exposure to asbestos at this scale posed serious danger to trade workers and any other employees stationed at these plants.
Like other structures of similar age, these plants also underwent periods of maintenance wherein the old, worn-out, asbestos-laden insulation materials would be replaced; since this could only be achieved by sawing, drilling, and cutting, these brute-force measures likely released an immeasurable amount of asbestos fibers into the air. This practice – while designed to make the pipes and other equipment more efficient by ensuring the insulation was as new and effective as possible – potentially caused a much higher level of exposure than simply working with this equipment and inside the buildings. Many of these workers were unaware of the dangers posed by asbestos and could have unknowingly breathed in the fibers or carried them home on their clothes, causing harm to them and their families, friends, and neighbors.
Our Top-Rated Asbestos Attorneys Represent New England Power Company workers
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or another asbestos-related illness due to asbestos exposure at New England Power Company in Massachusetts, you need to speak with an experienced asbestos lawyer as soon as possible.
At Belluck & Fox, our nationally recognized mesothelioma attorneys have extensive experience fighting for families and workers exposed to asbestos. We are proud to have secured more than $1 billion in compensation for asbestos victims and their families.
We are ready to help you. Contact us today to set up a free consultation. A partner at our law firm will personally call you to talk about the details of your case and explain your legal options. Our law firm does not charge (any legal fees upfront and we do not get paid unless and until we secure compensation for you.