Thousands of natural gas pipeline leaks have been identified in Boston and across Massachusetts that not only cost consumers millions of dollars in lost fuel, but also can pose a threat to public safety and the environment.
Now, using public records, a local environmental advocacy group has begun mapping such leaks and publishing the results online at www.clf.org/map.
Working with Boston University, the Conservation Law Foundation has located more than 4,000 leaks reported over several years by National Grid and a smaller utility that serves Fall River, North Attleboro, Plainville, Somerset, Swansea, and Westport. The leaks — some of which may have been fixed — are graded by severity.
More attention has been paid to leaky gas pipelines in recent years as blasts have claimed lives. Just last week, an explosion caused by a gas leak hit buildings in New York’s East Harlem area, killing several people. A pipeline explosion caused a deadly fire in San Bruno, Calif., in 2010 and another leak rocked a Gloucester home in 2009.