Members of the Jamaica Plain chapter of Mothers Out Front recently came together at a large natural gas leak to protest the dangerousness of gas leaks and the ineptness of gas company, National Grid.
"National Grid agreed to address large volume leaks but aren't keeping their promise, on our health, our dime and our kids' future," said Claire Humphrey.
The mothers started off at the Curtis Hall Community Center on July 25, and then went to a large gas leak across from the Pine Village Preschool on South Street.
The organization called on National Grid to honor their 2017 commitment to fix large gas leaks as part of the company's shared action plan with Columbia Gas, Eversource, Home Energy Efficiency Team, and more. Since then, National Grid has not fulfilled their commitment, said Mothers Out Front.
"Utilities are now required (thanks to advocacy by MOF and others) to prioritize not just dangerous and potentially explosive leaks but also the big leaks that are most damaging to the climate and to human and tree health — 7 percent of leaks result in 50 percent of the leaked gas. National Grid said they would start doing this — but they haven’t. Eversource and Columbia Gas have — but not National Grid," said Vicki Bok.
Fixing gas leaks would stop harmful methane being put into our community, and it would also save ratepayers money.
“We’re out here protesting because of our children. This leak is right in front of the preschool and down the street from the community center!" said Leann Canty. "Not only do leaks smell bad, there are detrimental to our health, have explosion risks and are an outside contributor to Global carbon emissions. We want to see National Grid get to work on fixing large volume leaks ASAP!”
Politically, while not part of the protest, District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley has been in the forefront of the fight against National Grid. He led the charge for a 2017 city law that created a new mechanism for the city to deal with gas leaks to improve the management of Boston's infrastructure by coordinating maintenance, repair, upgrades, replacement with gas companies. The city enacted the law, but National Grid has been fighting it in court since 2017.