Gas leaks legislation in final stages

As HEET prepares to launch its Squeaky Leak project, state energy policy is rapidly evolving. The Massachusetts legislature has recently passed two versions of gas leaks legislation and is now reconciling Senate Bill 2073 with a weaker bill that passed the House.

What does the bill do? Among other things, the Senate legislation would standardize leak classification across utilities, ensure grade 1 and 2 leaks* are on a timeline for repair, mandate targeted infrastructure replacement for leak-prone pipe, require utilities to coordinate with municipalities when roads are opened up, and give communities better access to gas leaks information. These are important steps forward in ensuring our heat and power is safe, efficient and affordable––and at a time when there’s lot of pressure to build big, new pipelines, fixing existing leaks is a common-sense move.

You can support this bill by contacting your legislators through an online action provided by our friends at Clean Water Action (which calls for a strong gas leaks bill and new efficiency for oil heat customers) or simply by calling your state representative and senator and asking them to support S2073. Afterwards, join HEET in our Squeaky Leak project to map gas leaks in Cambridge and Somerville, learn more about the state of our infrastructure and help ensure implementation of leak repair works!

 * A “Grade 1 leak” is a leak that represents an existing or probable hazard to persons or property and requiring prompt action, immediate repair, or continuous action until the conditions are no longer hazardous.  A “Grade 2 leak” is a leak that is recognized as being not hazardous at the time of detection but justifies scheduled repair based on the potential for creating a future hazard.