City Council passes gas leaks ordinance

The City Council during a Dec. 14 passed by a 12-1 vote a city ordinance aimed at addressing natural gas leaks in Boston, according to a press release.

The ordinance was sponsored by City Councilor Matt O’Malley, who represents a portion of Mission Hill. Gas leaks have long been a concern of some local residents and activists who say that they pose a safety risk and kill trees.

“I am thrilled at the passage of the gas leaks ordinance,” said O’Malley, who serves as the chair of the City Council’s Committee on Environment & Sustainability, according to the press release. “Thanks to the hard work and commitment of a passionate group of environmental allies, Boston now has a better way to address harmful gas leaks which are in virtually every Boston neighborhood. It’s more important than ever for the city’s residents to work together to reverse the effects of climate change and protect our city, our country and our planet for generations to come.”

The ordinance went to Mayor Marty Walsh, who signed it. The ordinance will allow utility companies to survey open areas for natural gas leaks and allow them to repair any aging or leaking gas lines; allow for public monitoring of leaks; and give the City authority to recoup costs form utility companies for the destruction of trees and shrubbery, as well as other measures.

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