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Natural gas is 95% methane, which is 86 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over the first 20 years in the atmosphere. Over-dependence on natural gas as a “bridge fuel” is impacting Massachusetts greenhouse gas emissions targets. Gas infrastructure in MA is the second oldest in the country. Limited ongoing maintenance has led to an increasing number of leaks, which are not only a health and safety hazard in our communities, but also impacting the health of our planet.

Sustainable Weston Action Group (SWAG) invites you to the “Natural Gas: Triage & Transition” panel event for October 24th at 7pm at the Amy Potter Center, Weston Middle School (456 Wellesley Street,  in Weston).

During this panel discussion, local experts will share their insights and experience in addressing both short and longer term issues with natural gas, outlining the impact on our communities and providing solutions for a way forward.

Speakers include:

  • State Rep. Lori Ehrlich, 8th Essex

  • State Rep. Alice Peisch, 14th Norfolk

  • Dr Nathan Phillips, BU School of Earth & Environment

  • Bob Ackley, Gas Safety Inc.

  • Dr Brita Lundberg, MD

  • Ania Camargo, Mothers Out Front

  • Zeyneb Magavi, HEET

The event will be hosted by Leon Gaumond, Town of Weston Manager, who will share the results of a recent independent gas infrastructure audit in Weston.

This comes on the heals of an independent gas audit in Weston (and Wellesley) which revealed a crumbling and under-maintained infrastructure. The goal is to have an interactive discussion addressing both short and longer term issues with the gas infrastructure in the Commonwealth.

Individuals can register here: http://bit.ly/GasForum-eventbrite

Phyllis Theermann

Earlier this month a full house gathered for Sustainable Wellesley’s Taste the Future event at Jarvis Appliances where we sampled delicious food and clean wine, watched cooking demos on an induction stove, and learned more about the ways to move off of dangerous gas appliances.

Huge thanks to Wellesley Public Media for covering the event. For those that missed it or want to learn more, watch it here.

Zeyneb Magavi and Audrey Schulman of HEET shared ways to transition to clean energy. Their eye opening presentation about the dangers of gas was coupled with opportunities EVERYONE can do to make a healthy change for the future.

We are very grateful to Wellesley’s finest at Jarvis Appliances, Chef Kurt and Janine Malone for making it a FUN evening.

Chef Kurt created a delicious meal — you can see him using and explaining induction stoves at his You Tube Channel here. Plus, we had the opportunity to sample Scout & Cellar’s clean crafted, hand picked, small family vineyard wines. Not only were they delicious but organic and biodynamic, vegan and bottled consciously, no chemicals or added sugar. Click here for more information on getting your hands on some.

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The Wellesley School Committee recently sent this letter to National Grid at the request of the Natural Resources Commission and Wellesley Green Schools, asking that the utility company take action on gas leaks near Wellesley schools and preschools.

An independent survey by the NRC last year revealed extensive leaks throughout town, including a number of leaks in or near school zones. Click here for a map showing Town-wide gas leak data

Earlier this month, the NRC invited Zeyneb Magavi, Research Director for HEET (Home Energy Efficiency Team), to speak at the Wellesley’s Green Collaborative about the state-wide efforts to address gas leaks. Ms. Magavi spoke about the partnership HEET has formed with gas companies National Grid, Eversource, and Columbia Gas to devise a reliable method to identify the largest volume gas leaks for urgent repair. She also explained HEET’s efforts to help homeowners and builders transition from fracked gas to electricity for heating and cooling, and appliances.

She also addressed the serious issue of fracking – the process of injecting toxic chemicals and high-pressure water into fissures in underground rocks to extract gas. The gas we use in New England is fracked in Pennsylania. With HEET, Magavi is working to build relationships with families in Pennsylvania who have been devastated by the health impacts fracking.

Click here for more on gas leaks in Wellesley.

Thank you to NRC for this update