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Dorchester blast sounds alarm for action on gas safety

An explosion at a Dorchester home last month has renewed attention on gas leaks.

Bill Brett for The Boston Globe

An explosion at a Dorchester home last month has renewed attention on gas leaks.

RE “BLAST in Dorchester renews focus on aging natural gas pipelines” (Business, APRIL 26): The morning after a gas explosion in my neighborhood I found myself bicycling uphill to a small road off Blue Hill Avenue. Glass was scattered across the asphalt, and the explosion had sent the door of the Dorchester home clear across the street.

Whether caused by an underground leak or not, the incident in Dorchester is a harrowing reminder of critical gas safety issues that local, state, and federal governments must act upon. Residents from Winthrop to Gloucester to Springfield to Somerset have suffered injury or death from pipeline leaks, and many more have felt the pinch in their pocketbooks as they pay for gas that never reaches them.

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The Massachusetts Legislature, close to enacting a new law, has the obligation to advance strong gas leaks legislation that protects public safety, preventing not only explosions but also addressing the silent burden of high bills and the threat of a quickly changing climate.

The Senate language would do far more than the House counterpart, which advances utility revenues without truly addressing leak-prone pipe. We owe it to all residents of the Commonwealth to rein in gas leaks’ heavy toll.

Joel Wool


The writer is Massachusetts energy organizer with Clean Water Action.

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