Zakim co-sponsoring measure on natural gas leaks

Mission Hill City Councilor Josh Zakim is co-sponsoring a measure to examine the problem of natural gas leaks in the city, according to a press release.

Zakim is co-sponsoring the measure with Jamaica Plain City Councilor Matt O’Malley, who last month filed an order for a public hearing. A public hearing has been scheduled for September.

Gas leaks have been a concern for some residents in the city who say they are dangerous and have led to trees dying.

“Gas leaks caused by aging or faulty infrastructure affect not only the environment, but also the public and fiscal health of residents across the City of Boston,” said Zakim, according to the press release. “We need to make sure that the utility companies, ratepayers and the City are at the table together and working collaboratively to fix the problem. Calling this hearing will be an important first step in that direction.”

Studies have shown that there are thousands of gas leaks in Boston and they affect every neighborhood. A Harvard-led study found that around $90 million of natural gas leaks from the Boston area system each year and that cost is passed on to the consumer.

“Just because we can’t see the leaking gas doesn’t mean we can ignore it,” said Viki Bok of Mothers Out Front, according to the press release. “It is adding dollars to our monthly utility bills, and more importantly, it is risking our kids’ health and safety, and is turning out to be a much bigger contributor to climate change than people had any idea.”

Bok approached O’Malley about the problem of gas leaks earlier this year.


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