Sustainable Wellesley members gathered in front of the Wellesley Community Center holding signs, and wearing safety vests and tape measures of the sort used by utility crews to draw attention to National Grid’s lack of action on gas leaks. The community center is located near a major leak that has been known to the gas company since 2015.

Last week, Sustainable Wellesley called on National Grid to fix the dozens of persistent gas leaks in Wellesley. The leaks emit vast amounts of methane, which is a dangerous and highly potent greenhouse gas that is contributing to global warming.

Sustainable Wellesley President Quentin Prideaux said, “We first started looking at gas leaks in Wellesley in 2015 when there were 197 leaks reported by National Grid — now there are 261. The leaks are actually getting worse and we need National Grid to step up to protect our climate, our safety, and our health.”

The Sustainable Wellesley action was part of a larger effort across the Boston metropolitan area led by Mothers Out Front, the Gas Leaks Allies, and other environmental groups frustrated by the lack of progress on gas leaks. In Boston, more than 100 protesters gathered on Cambridge Street near a 13-year old leak. Activists are particularly concerned that National Grid has backed away from its previous commitment to identify and repair the largest volume leaks, sometimes called “super-emitters.” These large volume leaks make up only about 7 percent of the more than 16,000 leaks in the state but they emit roughly 50 percent of the methane. The other large gas companies — Eversource and Columbia Gas — have already begun using the accepted method for identifying and repairing these leaks, while National Grid has said it will not do so until next year.

Phyllis Theermann
Image courtesy of Mothers Out Front

Image courtesy of Mothers Out Front

Gas Leaks Forum: Tuesday, May 17th at 7pm at the Cary Memorial Building in Lexington

There are more than 20,000 gas leaks in Massachusetts (121 in Gas Leaks Wellesley) creating a safety, health, and environmental hazard that affects our communities and our climate. Methane is an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon. What needs to be done to address these dangerous and expensive methane leaks? Discussion will include Professor Nathan Phillips (Boston University), Joe Newman (Director of Governmental Affairs, National Grid), Ed Woll (Sierra Club of MA). Sponsored by Lexington Board of Selectmen, Sen. Mike Barrett, Sen. Ken Donnelly, Rep. Jay Kaufman, and Mothers Out Front.

Please click Here for flyer.