O’Malley’s Proposed Ordinance Aims to Eliminate Gas Leaks in Boston

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Jamaica Plain's City Councilor Matt O’Malley will co-chair a public hearing on Tuesday about his proposed city ordinance aimed at eliminating gas leaks in Boston.

“As rate payers, we are subsidizing nearly $90 million annually for unaccounted-for gas that escapes through leaks into the environment,” said O’Malley. “Leaks can be damaging to the environment, cause public health problems, and inflate consumers’ bills. And gas leaks can last for years, if not decades.”

O'Malley wants to eliminate gas leaks in Boston in six years, prioritize gas leak repairs and monitoring, and in turn, help the environment and save consumers money. The councilor hopes to improve coordination between utility companies and the city during road work to prevent gas leaks. The proposed ordinance would also allow the city to impose fines if gas leaks are not reported.

The ordinance is scheduled to be discussed in the City Council’s Government Operations Committee and the Committee on Environment & Sustainability in a joint public hearing at 1 p.m. in City Hall.

The legislation is the result of collaboration from several groups, including Mothers Out Front, the Boston Climate Action Network, West Roxbury Saves Energy, the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action and the Arborway Coalition.