In a unanimous vote, the House passed a bill to require utility companies to stop leaks from their gas lines. As reported in the Boston Globe (2/13/2014),
Boston’s gas pipelines are riddled with thousands of small leaks — often the cause of the occasional rotten-egg-like whiff of mercaptan-laced gas that passerbys smell. Federal and state legislators have called for fixes, citing both safety concerns and the amount of money lost from leaking gas that never gets to consumers.
State Representative Lori Ehrlich, the Marblehead Democrat who filed the bill, said she was delighted at this step toward addressing the problem.
“The law has permitted gas companies to merely monitor more than 20,000 gas leaks throughout the Commonwealth,” Ehrlich said in a statement. “These unrepaired methane leaks waste almost $40 million of a natural resource annually, and often lead to deadly explosions.’’
SAFE has been a strong proponent of fixing the gas links, particularly in light of the proposal to build a new gas-generation power plant in Salem.