Mayor Thomas Menino has written a strongly worded letter to the state Department of Public Utilities urging its chairwoman to step up scrutiny of utilities following a story in today's Globe about more than 3,300 natural gas leaks from the vast pipeline system under Boston.
Requesting a meeting with the DPU, he said regulators need to ensure National Grid, the city's main gas distributor, are "proactively searching for leaks and monitoring minor leaks that will no doubt worsen over time."
Menino said the cost of leaked gas - at least tens of millions of dollars a year in Massachusetts - is being passed onto families as they struggle to recover from tough economic times. In addition, he said natural gas may be damaging trees and contributing to climate change. Natural gas leaks, along with other unaccounted gas, could amount to about five percent of all the greenhouse gas emissions in the state.
Menino requested more information from the DPU to allow the city to take a "stronger response."
About the green blog
Helping Boston live a greener, more environmentally friendly life.
Christopher Reidy covers business for the Globe.
Doug Struck covers environmental issues from Boston.
Glenn Yoder produces Boston.com's Lifestyle pages.
Eric Bauer is site architect of Boston.com.
Bennie DiNardo is the Boston Globe's deputy managing editor/multimedia.
Dara Olmsted is a local sustainability professional focusing on green living.