NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Christmas lights are on but the heat is still off at a Kissel Avenue home on Staten Island — five days after a minor gas leak was repaired.
Due to new regulations put in place by Mayor Bill de Blasio, it could take even longer for the family’s gas service to be restored.
Experts tell TV CBS2’s Brian Conybeare the same thing is happening to thousands of other homeowners throughout the area.
A lock remains on a gas meter at Richard Orazem’s home after a minor gas leak in a pipe behind his dryer was fixed Tuesday.
Since then, the special education teacher has been using eleven space heaters throughout his home to try and keep his wife and 11-month-old daughter warm.
“I’m disgusted with this, I really am,” Orazem told CBS2 Saturday night.
Licensed master plumber Rick McGlynn fixed the leak in one hour Tuesday and has been trying to get the gas turned back on at the house since.
“It wasn’t a big deal,” he exclaimed. “Now it’s turned into thousands of dollars these people have to pay. It’s not fair!”
McGlynn blames new regulations and fees put in place by the New York City Department of Buildings in the wake of the deadly explosion on Second Avenue in March of 2015.
CBS2 reported at the time two people were killed when illegal gas hookups destroyed the building.
According to McGlynn, the city now requires plumbers to:
- Get a permit
- Clear past violations
- Do a schematic diagram of all the home’s gas pipes
- Get an asbestos report
- Possibly move drier vents
- Pass a department inspection
National Grid requires plumb to fulfill all of those requirements before they turn the gas back on — a process that can take four weeks or more.
A spokesman for the DOB told CBS2 that “… nothing precludes the utility from turning gas off, or on. Since the tragic East Village explosion we have worked to create a partnership of information exchanging focused solely on enhancing the safety of all New Yorkers.”
For the Orazems — the holiday season’s already been ruined by all the red tape.
CBS2 reported that Mayor de Blasio signed ten new gas safety regulations into law earlier this month.