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Natural gas leaks in eastern Massachusetts

Environmental advocacy group Conservation Law Foundation has been working with Boston University and using public records to map utility-reported gas leaks. The state recently passed a law that will accelerate repairs of gas leaks that cost consumers money and pose a public safety threat.

The Gas Piping and Technological Committee standards for grading natural leaks establishes three grades. The new law’s grading system is similar.

Data collected between 2005 and 2011

Grade 1 leak (More dangerous): Existing or probable hazard requiring prompt action, immediate repair, or continuous action until the conditions are no longer hazardous.
Grade 2 leak: Not hazardous at the time of detection, but justifies scheduled repair based on the potential for creating a future hazard.
Grade 3 leak (Less dangerous): Not hazardous at the time of detection, and can reasonably be expected to remain not hazardous.

SOURCES: Conservation Law Foundation, American Gas Association, Axis Maps

Chiqui Esteban/Globe Staff

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