City Council Hearing on Safety of Boston’s Gas Infrastructure

October 30, 2018
» Watch full hearing Video on CityofBoston.com
— (Close captioned – 4 hrs., 5 min.)

Councilors O’Malley, Flynn, Pressley, Edwards, McCarthy, Essaibi-George, Zakim, Janey, Wu, Campbell.

3 panels and public testimony.

National Grid did not attend – sent statement letter to O’Malley read at beginning of hearing, offering individual private meetings with Councilors.

All councilors had strong criticism for National Grid’s opting to not participate in the hearing, many advocating for subpoena to bring them to a future hearing. Wu and Pressley also advocated for no new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Summation of introductory statement by Councilor O’Malley:
2016 Gas leaks ordinance signed by Mayor Walsh. National Grid took them to court – status conference in December.

Over 1,000 workers locked out by National Grid since June. Replacement down by over 80%. Metering service work down by over 60%. Work on mains down by over 50%. National Grid is currently finding roughly 7 times more leaks than they can repair – twice as many not being repaired as usual. 42% of its infrastructure is leak-prone and needs to be replaced in the next 17 years (as opposed to 26% state-wide).

Worcester has a “co-operative patching program” since 2001, has saved 57% of it’s repaving cost by being allowed to coordinate with gas company.

Repairing is far more cost effective than replacing – Cost to repair a leak is $3,000, to replace a gas main is $4.7 million. Replacing locks customers into another 50-60 years of use. “We should be talking about repairing, not replacing”.

» Boston City Council Ordinance Regarding Management and Elimination of Natural Gas Leaks

» From HEET (Home Energy Efficiency Team)
Did you know Boston has one of the oldest natural gas infrastructures in the country. One that constantly needs repairs and replacement? The dispute between National Grid and the labor union means that this work is months behind.
» See if your street is affected

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