Report: Mass. Natural Gas Pipelines Still Facing Serious Gas Leaks

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A new report shows Massachusetts' natural gas pipelines are still facing dozens of serious and potentially dangerous gas leaks.

The report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups found there were thousands of gas leaks that were dangerous enough to be reported to federal authorities from 2010 to 2021. In Massachusetts, there were 34 incidents during that time span.

Of those 34 incidents, 24 of them involved gas ignition and nine of them resulted in explosions. The 34 incidents led to nearly 86 million cubic feet of gas being released, with a total cost of almost $1.6 billion.

These incidents also resulted in 45 injuries and three deaths, which included the deadly Merrimack Valley gas fires and explosions back in 2018 that lead to the death of 18-year-old Leonel Rondon and left dozens more injured. Hundreds of homes were also destroyed in the incident, forcing tens of thousands of people to have to evacuate.

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The authors of the report called for states to look to switch to alternative energy forms for heating homes like electric heating because they say it is safer and cleaner for the environment. The report also claims methane gas leaks are contributing to issues like climate change, and cites a 2016 report on gas leaks in Boston that surveyed 100 gas leaks and found that seven percent of those leaks contributed to 50 percent of total methane emissions.

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