In wake of the horrific gas explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, a trio of Boston City Councilors are calling for an examination of the city's gas safety infrastructure. District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley, District 2 City Councilor and At-Large City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, filed the order to hold a future hearing at Wednesday's City Council meeting. For O'Malley, it continues his pursuit to make sure the city's gas lines are safe. In 2016, as chair of the council's Environment, Sustainability and Parks Committee, O'Malley led the passing of a city law that would reduce gas leaks, improve safety, help the environment and lessen the cost of gas. But it has not been implemented due to gas company National Grid's lawsuit opposing its implementation.
District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley had a very busy Wednesday! Jamaica Plain's city councilor introduced hearing orders on a dockless bike and scooter share, investing and expanding Boston's wireless infrastructure and offered a resolution in support of locked out National Grid employees. Let's take those one at a time. Dockless Transportation
Dockless bike and scooters have been popping up in Boston, Cambridge and elsewhere. Some municipalities are seizing them and removing them from the streets as they are aimlessly hanging out around and getting in people's ways.
A city law that would reduce gas leaks, improve safety, help the environment and lessen the cost of gas has not been implemented due to gas company National Grid's lawsuit opposing its implementation. The law, which was to be implemented in July 2017, 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. Gas companies, of which National Grid is dominant in Boston, would be notified when a street is open by another utility company, cable company and others. The ordinance also gives the city the authority to recoup costs from utility companies for the destruction of trees and shrubbery, which often happens from gas leaks. District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley authored the law, which was passed by the Boston City Council and signed into law by Mayor Marty Walsh in December 2016.
Nearly 30 National Grid employees volunteered with City Year Boston at English High School in Jamaica Plain for a recent day of service. National Grid’s US President Dean Seavers and Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts, were on hand and kicked off the day. “I’m always impressed by the dedication and stewardship displayed by our people,” Reed said to the group. “We love being a City Year team sponsor for the English High School; coming together and doing something that’s positive and helpful for the students.”
The participating volunteers assembled more than 550 school supply kits, cleaned out two garden beds, painted outdoor benches, and picked up waste around the high school campus. "National Grid has been a critical philanthropic partner with City Year Boston for many years, supporting our teams of AmeriCorps members and their service to the students of the Boston Public Schools,” said Kristen af Klinteberg, managing director at City Year Boston.
If you've wondered what those utility crews have been doing on McBride Street, we've got the answer. National Grid is investigating reported gas odors in the area. They've ruled out leaks from nearby houses, according to Danielle Horn, spokesperson for the company. Crews are making street excavations to test the pipelines. If you smell gas, you can report it to National Grid via 1-800-233-5325.
The "test pit" phase of utility work along Centre Street is over. Which means we can get ready for the real headaches to begin. Starting this week — and continuing for four to six months — work begins in earnest on replacing the neighborhood's ancient cast-iron gas mains with plastic ones. What this means is plenty of disruption along Centre Street through Hyde and Jackson squares. National Grid will replace 2,100 feet of natural gas pipe along the south side of Centre from Sheridan to Wise.