Google StreetView cars were fitted with sensors that can identify leaks and estimate the size of the leak in Boston and two other cities, CBS Boston reports.
Boston has the second oldest and largest natural gas infrastructure in the nation.
Methane is an explosive hazard, and leaks can also cause damage to surrounding vegetation, even killing trees. EDF also reports on how the gas leakage is contributing to climate change.
Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Maeve responded to the prevalence of methane leaks by saying “this project underscores the importance of the Patrick Administration’s work to accelerate pipeline repairs and methane reductions” in a statement released Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Governor Patrick signed into law a bill requiring all Grade 1 gas leaks, which are the most serious, to be repaired immediately, that Grade 2 leaks be repaired within 12 months, and Grade 3 leaks to be reevaluated.
The legislation amends DPU’s ability to fine gas companies for violations of gas pipeline safety rules, making it consistent with federal law. Companies can now be fined from $100,000 to $200,000 per violation up to $2 million.
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