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Another Gas Release in Wellesley is scheduled for October 8.

The Town has been advised that there will be another release of gas from the valve site near 68 Walnut Street in Wellesley on Tuesday, October 8 between 7 am and 7 pm. This gas is being released from the Algonquin pipeline, the main gas distribution line for the northeast. A segment of the pipeline runs through Wellesley.

Algonquin Gas said it will be releasing odorized natural gas due to planned maintenance work, but did not give more details for this gas release, or for the two releases that took place on August 16 and 27.

Please note that very high levels of methane were recorded in the area by Dr. Nathan Phillips of Boston University during the August releases. Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas that is contributing to the devastating effects of global warming. Methane is also known to have a negative effect on human health.

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Thirty percent of everyday household trash is food waste.

Right now, Wellesley’s recycling of food waste is 6% of the total recycling at our RDF. So there is a lot of food waste in Wellesley that is NOT being recycled.

We can do better, and it’s easy to do.

At the recent Sustainable Wellesley action meeting, Sharon volunteered to re-“energize” Wellesley’s Food Waste Program. For those that don’t know, Wellesley residents can drop off their food waste (bones, meat and all!) in the Food Waste area at the RDF. This waste then goes into an anaerobic digester which converts our food waste to methane, which produces electricity. A portion of the leftover byproduct is made into pellets of low grade fertilizer.

We are looking for a few volunteers to hand out flyers explaining this program at the RDF, Green’s Hardware and Roche Bros.

If you are interested in joining Sharon outside of Green’s hardware on a weekend in October, please let her know by emailing her: sharonkirby3@gmail.com.

Weather looks good for this weekend so join the team on Saturday 10/5 from 10-noon and Sunday, 10/6 11-12:30. Its an easy and important thing to do: hand out flyers and a free compostable bag to get more people on board.

Other dates you can sign up to help at Roche Bros are Saturday, 11/16, 10-2 and 11/23, 10-2.

Thanks for taking action!

Together, we are making a difference.

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A year ago we were reading about gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley that resulted in a fatality, injuries, property damage, displacement of tens of thousands of people for months, not to mention over a billion dollars in costs.

On the anniversary of these catastrophic explosions a new report, Rolling the Dice: Assessment of Gas System Safety in Massachusetts, was released.  Wellesley’s Regina LaRocque, MD, MPH contributed to the report, published by the Gas Leaks Allies Coalition. The report identifies fundamental flaws in the gas distribution system in towns such as Wellesley that can lead directly to unsafe situations while recommending feasible, cost-effective, short-term actions to improve public safety. The report proposes a strategy to triage the gas distribution system and transition to a new way to heat homes and businesses. It sends an urgent message to legislators, the executive branch, municipalities, and gas companies to take action now.  

This is important as Wellesley has more than 260 gas leaks and endured two gas “blowdowns”  just this past August. Fortunately, there were no homes destroyed nor fires started, this time, but gas was vented from an interstate pipeline that runs along the eastern edge of town. Breathing air polluted with the components of natural gas is hazardous to human health. In addition, its methane is at least 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, it kills trees, and the leaks are expensive – Wellesley customers pay for lost gas in their gas bills. 

Gas leaks and blowouts will continue in Wellesley until significant changes are made. To greatly enhance public safety in the near term and in the future, Sustainable Wellesley is urging residents to learn more about the FUTURE Act H.2849/S.1940 which addresses the safety of the gas system, increases state oversight, and creates a pathway for utilities to deliver reliable, clean energy by investing now in heat pumps, thermal storage, solar thermal, or geothermal district energy systems.

Then, contact your legislators to share your concerns:

Rep. Alice Peisch, Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov, (617) 722-2070

Senator Becca Rausch, Becca.Rausch@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1555

Senator Cynthia Creem, Cynthia.Creem@masenate.gov, (617) 722-1639


Finally, consider reaching out to Wellesley town officials to encourage them to continue their efforts in a multi-town initiative aiming to open a dialogue with National Grid on fixing gas leaks – particularly the large volume leaks. The multi-town initiative includes representatives from more than 20 cities and towns, as well as the Gas Leaks Allies, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and Mothers Out Front.