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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.

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Worried about Summer Cooling costs?
Want to cut your utility bills?

Come to a Home Energy Savings Seminar at the Tolles Parsons Center on May 22nd at 1:30 PM to learn ways to reduce your energy usage and make your home more comfortable and efficient. The seminar will review available programs that help you reduce energy usage.

The Wellesley Municipal Light Plant and National Grid offer no-cost energy audits, free light bulbs and significant rebates and assistance on insulation, heating equipment and appliances. The seminar will familiarize you with the home audit process.

Please bring your oil, gas and electric bills with you.

Volunteers will help you calculate your benchmark energy rating and assist with the audit process.

Sign-up with the COA 781-235-3961. Walk-ins are welcome.

This program is sponsored by the Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee.

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TAKE ACTION on Tuesday, October 30!
Tell Gov. Baker and the Department of Public Utilities to
PROTECT OUR SAFETY!

Sustainable Wellesley wants to make sure you know about important actions taking place tomorrow to call on Governor Baker and his Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to protect public safety from dangerous gas infrastructure.

The gas pipes under our streets are leaking and neglected—putting us in danger, costing us money, harming our health, and damaging our climate.

Our government is failing to ensure our safety. Gov. Baker has appointed commissioners to head the the DPU— the state agency that regulates and oversees utilities—who are not doing their job. We need to hold Gov. Baker and his DPU accountable.

We need inspectors: Utilities have operating and maintenance plans that are not being followed, risking our safety.

We need action: Governor Baker and his DPU need to pressure National Grid to end the lockout of union workers and fine the company for documented safety violations.

We need regulations: Gas leaks laws from 2014 and 2016 are not being enforced, leaving the largest leaks to spew gas 24/7 for years.

We need a Department of Public Utilities focused on PUBLIC safety. Where are you, Governor Baker?

TWO WAYS TO TAKE ACTION ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30:

  1. HELP FILL THE ROOM ON OCTOBER 30 at Boston’s Gas Safety Hearing at 11 am at Boston City Hall.
  2. JOIN OUR SOCIAL MEDIA SUPERSTORM ON OCTOBER 30, 11 am to 2 pm, targeting Gov. Baker’s Department of Public Utilities.

LET’S TREND!
To get the most attention, we’ll all send our messages from 11 am to 2 pm on Tuesday, October 30, using the hashtag: #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU.

QUICK PREP STEPS:

THEN POST AND TWEET ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30, between 11 am and 2 pm. You can post on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram.

  • Sample posts are below. Ask followers and friends to share, retweet, and resend your post.

  • ONLY post on October 30, not before.

  • EVERY TWEET AND POST SHOULD INCLUDE: @massgovernor #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU and @SustWellesley.

  • On FACEBOOK, make your post “Public” so others can share it. Use the drop-down menu directly to the left of the Post button.

SAMPLE POSTS:

Joining @SustWellesley to ask, are ALL these leaks safe @MassGovernor? #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU @Heet_MA #mapoli https://www.wellesleyma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10383/Gas-Leaks-reported-by-National-Grid-as-of-2017-and-leak-data-from-2017-independent-study?bidId=

Join @SustWellesley and me in asking @MassGovernor & his Department of PUBLIC Utilities to #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU and act on Gas Leak Laws! Please RT in support! #mapoli @loriehrlich

Our safety is on the line. #MVGasFires should never happen again. @MassGovernor #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU. Protect our communities from gas explosions & climate change. @SustWellesley

Has @MassGovernor put the fox in charge of the henhouse? Where is our #departmentofPUBLICutilities? #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU @SustWellesley

#BakersDPU – Please do safety inspections and enact regulations. We need your help! #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU @MassGovernor @SustWellesley

#BakersDPU – Your middle name is PUBLIC. Please stop working for the utilities and start working for us. #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU @MassGovernor @SustWellesley

THANK YOU FOR TAKING ACTION TO KEEP US ALL SAFE!