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National Grid Gas: Independent Monitor To Oversee Return Of Service For 3,700 Customers

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - The New York State Public Service Commission is stepping in to help resolve the end of National Grid's gas moritorium that denied service to 3,700 customers.

In addition to paying $36 million in penalties, the PSC will also establish an independent monitor for compliance as the utility resumes service hook-ups to thousands of businesses and homeowners.

On Monday customers in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island got word they would finally get hooked up for their natural gas service needs.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement with the utility to immediately lift a six-month-long moratorium on gas service that left thousands with no way to heat their buildings or run their businesses, reports CBS2's political reporter Marcia Kramer.

For months, CBS2 has been demanding answers from National Grid and the governor after thousands of customers were left without gas, including a $92 million development in Nassau County and a Long Island municipal fire department in urgent need of upgrading its facilities.

The agreement promises the utility will meet the demand for the next two years, allowing it to restore service to any customers that it had refused and grant all pending applications.

National Grid's gas moratorium came from a fight with the state over approval of a controversial pipeline.

That infuriated the governor, who threatened National Grid he would revoke their license to operate.

The company blamed New York's rejection of an application for a $1 billion pipeline bringing natural gas from Pennsylvania's shale gas fields.

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