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Rhode Island Legislature Calls On Utility To Check For “Stray Voltage” After Dog’s Death

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Manhole cover (joerg Koch/DDP/Getty Images)

Manhole cover (joerg Koch/DDP/Getty Images)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Rhode Island lawmakers have voted to require the state’s main electric utility to check for so-called “stray voltage” following the death of a dog that stepped on an electrified manhole cover in Providence.

The House and Senate have both signed off on legislation directing National Grid to check its systems for spots in which voltage from frayed power lines electrifies metal objects like street lamps or manhole covers.

Supporters of the legislation say utilities must quickly repair these areas of stray voltage to protect residents and pets.

The bill was prompted by the accidental electrocution of an 8-month-old Labrador retriever in Providence last year.

The legislation now moves to Gov. Lincoln Chafee , who is expected to sign the measure into law.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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