DR 97-130
                       energynorth natural gas, inc.
                         Environmental Remediation
                   Order Granting Protective Treatment 
                         O R D E R   N O.  22,853
                             February 18, 1998
         On June 23, 1997, EnergyNorth Natural Gas, Inc. (ENGI)
     filed a request with the New Hampshire Public Utilities
     Commission (Commission) to recover certain expenses, net of
     certain third party recoveries, related to the environmental
     remediation of an area near a former manufactured gas plant in
     Concord, New Hampshire.
         Subsequent to filing its petition in this case, ENGI
     informed the Commission's Staff and the Office of the Consumer
     Advocate (OCA) that ENGI had settled certain federal court
     litigation with UGI Utilities, Inc. (UGI) against whom ENGI had
     previously brought suit to recover certain expenses which are
     also the subject of this proceeding. On December 1, 1997, the
     Commission Staff submitted data requests to ENGI, requesting a
     copy of the settlement agreement between UGI and ENGI. ENGI
     responded to the data request by indicating that the terms of the
     settlement are strictly confidential and that UGI had instructed
     it not to release any information regarding the settlement other
     than pursuant to the terms of a protective order issued by this
     Commission.  Concurrent with the submission to the Staff of its
     response to the data request, ENGI filed a Motion for Protective
     order with the Commission, seeking protective treatment of the
     settlement agreement and all testimony, briefs and other
     materials and information in this proceeding concerning or
     describing the terms of the settlement between UGI and ENGI. ENGI
     reasserted in its petition that the settlement agreement with UGI
     recognizes that some disclosure of the terms of the agreement
     will be necessary in proceedings before the Commission and that
     ENGI will use its best efforts to obtain a protective order from
     the Commission to protect the confidentiality of the agreement.
     ENGI also represented that the agreement provides that ENGI
     recognizes that disclosure of the terms of the agreement, except
     as permitted under the agreement, may cause damage to UGI and
     that UGI would likely hold ENGI accountable for any such damage. 
     OCA took no position on the motion.  Commission Staff (Staff), on
     January 23, 1998, filed a response objecting to some of the terms
     under which the material would be protected as being contrary to
     Commission practice.  Staff agreed that the material qualified
     for protection pursuant to RSA 91-A and our administrative rules. 
         We recognize the need for confidential treatment of the
     settlement agreement between UGI and ENGI and all testimony and
     other material and information regarding the agreement in this
     proceeding.  We accept Staff's proposed changes to the request
     regarding the manner in which the protected material is handled. 
     We will, therefore, grant ENGI's Motion for Protective Treatment
     pursuant to RSA 91-A:5,IV and N.H. Admin. Rules, Puc 204.07 and
     204.08 subject to Staff's modifications.    
         Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
         ORDERED, that ENGI's Motion for Protective Order is
     GRANTED in part and DENIED in part; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that ENGI's response to Staff Data
     Request 1-8-B(b) shall be and hereby are designated as Protected
     Materials and any testimony, briefs, documents and other material
     and information submitted by or to any participant in this
     proceeding that refers to the terms of ENGI's settlement
     agreement with UGI, other than of the fact that such information
     is required to be kept confidential, shall be and hereby are
     similarly designated as Protected Materials; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that unless and until otherwise
     ordered by the Commission or a court of competent jurisdiction,
     all Protected Materials shall be used only in connection with
     this proceeding or related appellate proceedings and may be
     inspected by or disclosed to and used by the Commissioners, law
     firms of record for the parties in this proceeding, OCA and
     members of Staff with direct involvement in this proceeding
     (Permitted Persons); and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that prior to disclosure of any
     Protected Material to any Permitted Person (other than a
     Commissioner or member of Staff), each such individual shall be
     given a copy of this Order and shall execute a certificate
     stating that he or she has read this Order and that he or she
     will not divulge any Protected Material or any portion thereof or
     any information derived therefrom, other than in accordance with
     this Order; counsel for the party by whom such Permitted Person
     is employed shall submit a copy of such certificate to all other
     participants in this proceeding and a copy shall be filed with
     the Commission; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that any person who received Protected
     Material pursuant to this Order shall make no more than one copy
     of such Protected Material except copies may be made of documents
     for marking as sealed exhibits in accordance with the Order ans
     set forth below; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that if a party tenders for filing
     with the Commission or any court any written testimony, exhibit
     brief, or other submission that includes, incorporates or
     otherwise discloses Protected Material, all portions thereof
     disclosing such materials shall be marked Protected Material and
     be filed and served in sealed envelopes or other appropriate
     containers endorsed to the effect that they are sealed pursuant
     to this Order; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that unless the Commission orders
     otherwise, Protected Material or portions thereof may be
     disclosed only in an in camera portion of any proceeding, closed
     to all persons except Commissioners, members of Staff and those
     who have signed a certificate in accordance with this Order; and
     it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that this order is subject to
     reconsideration in light of RSA 91-A, should circumstances
         By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this eighteenth day of February, 1998.
        Douglas L. Patch    Bruce B. Ellsworth        Susan S. Geiger
            Chairman           Commissioner            Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary