Lawrence–Gas System Failure–AGAIN

It’s with sadness and frustration that SAFE, a member of the Gas Leaks Allies, a broad coalition of more than 20 organizations and researchers, heard the news this morning about the gas leak and resulting evacuation in the Lawrence.

Based on our recent report, Rolling the Dice, along with the finding of uncapped distribution pipes in areas where gas pipes were replaced last year and the NTSB final report on the Merrimack Valley disaster, we find this latest incident all too predictable.

The gas distribution system is not safe. It’s based on faulty assumptions that:

  • There are materials that can contain gas for long periods underground.
  • A centralized design won’t lead to single-point failures leading to outages for thousands of customers.
  • Gas combustion can be controlled.

None of these assumptions holds true. The leak in Lawrence occurred in an area where the pipes had all been replaced with supposedly safer plastic.

We welcome your help to implement the report’s recommendations for triaging the worst leaks while transitioning to a safer, cleaner system now.

Please read through Rolling The Dice and note the 50 recommendations for how SAFE and the City of Salem should be pushing National Grid to fix the gas leaks in our city and help us move to renewable energy.