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.

 A recent NY Times Op Ed:  Your Gas Stove Is Bad for You and the Planet

Want to do something about your gas stove? your gas heat? your fossil fuel car?

Experience everyday life without gas or gas leaks.  Mothers Out Front teams in Jamaica Plain are hosting a Green Tour where you can see the future happening today.

JAMAICA PLAIN:  Sunday May 19th, 2-4pm

Take a self-guided tour in central JP, showcasing green living– from solar panels to electric cars, composting, beekeeping, edible gardens, etc.– in about 15 homes (and a few businesses and community sites). Neighbors can learn from neighbors and help us all envision what a clean-energy future could look like.

Online map and event page are here.

Phyllis Theermann

We are very proud that Sustainable Wellesley’s Leadership Team member Lise Olney was elected to the Wellesley Board of Selectmen on March 5th. After eight years on the leadership team of Sustainable Wellesley, Olney will be stepping down to focus on her new role in town government. She will no longer have a voting position on the Sustainable Wellesley team but plans to remain involved in our activities.

Lise joined the Sustainable Wellesley leadership team in 2011, after helping organize a Sustainability Expo and Bike Tour. She went on to work on many projects, advocating for renewable energy, organizing volunteers to work on the Wellesley plastic bag ban, tagging the  200+ gas leaks around town, and much more.

Lise says, “For me, the best part of working on the Sustainable Wellesley team was getting to know so many neighbors who are committed to making changes and helping to save our planet.”

The Sustainable Wellesley community is grateful for all of Lise’s contributions and thrilled to have someone committed to environmental stewardship on the Board of Selectmen. Her experience, shared decision-making style and thoughtfulness will strengthen our community on all fronts.

Sustainable Wellesley is a group of volunteers working to make a difference in our community. Click here for a list of the ways you can join us – one time, weekly, and monthly opportunities are listed, as well as ones that relate to your expertise, hobby, and passion. We need you to volunteer to make all of our work possible. Together we can make a difference.