Gas Leaks Legislation Letter to the Newton TAB from LWVN, February, 2018
Thanks to our Newton representatives, Kay Khan and Ruth Balser, for their leadership on gas leak legislation.
Coordination of construction on roads is now easier because of a bill passed last summer to pressure the gas utilities to coordinate with municipalities when roads are being reconstructed.
This January, our representatives co-sponsored legislation to further pressure gas utilities to plug leaks.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. Leaked gas also costs ratepayers statewide over $90 million annually, kills trees and harms health.
Since last summer’s bill went into effect, Newton and other communities are already seeing more cooperation from the gas companies. Newton has over 400 known non-emergency leaks.
As Newton plans to triple its roadway maintenance budget starting in July, we need to know we aren’t paving over or disturbing fragile gas mains that may endanger the health or lives of nearby residents.
It makes more sense to get all our underground pipes fixed ahead of repaving so residents can enjoy their streets without disruption, and we can conserve our tax dollars for future projects.
The Newton League of Women Voters follows the progress of state bills on gas leaks, which affect us at the local level. We invite readers to join us at www.lwvnewton.org.
Sue Flicop, President