BHCA Supports Campaign to ‘Tag’ Natural Gas Leaks

By Dan Murphy

The Beacon Hill Civic Association is getting behind an upcoming awareness campaign to “tag” 215 known natural-gas leaks in aging infrastructure in Beacon Hill, Back Bay and parts of the South End.

In a letter to elected officials, the BHCA board of directors voiced its support for the Dec. 10 effort, which will be led by volunteers for the national nonprofit Mothers Out Front. Besides marking gas leaks with small signs, the campaign also intends to garner support for the Boston Gas Leaks Ordinance, and to instill the importance of notifying the gas company if one smells leaking gas.

Leaks are now the largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions in Boston, with according to a 2103 Boston University study, 3,356 leaks citywide – an average of 3.9 per mile. (The utility companies claim only 1,400 leaks citywide).

Suzanne Besser, president of the BHCA board, said member of the group’s Green Committee would be joining in the effort to “tag” gas leaks.

“The BHCA recognizes the seriousness of the countless methane gas leaks in the aging pipes below Beacon Hill streets that threaten the health and wellbeing of our residents and our trees,” Besser said. “We applaud the commitment and tireless efforts made by the Mothers Out Front organization to spread the word to our residents, legislators and utility companies, and advocate for the leaks’ repair.”

Besser added, “We have seen the ailing and dying Commonwealth Avenue trees, which the Friends of the Public Garden attributed to methane leaking from nearby pipes and wish to keep the Elm trees on Mt. Vernon Street and other trees on Cambridge, Derne, Anderson, Grove and Charles streets and Louisburg Square, which have been identified as near gas leaks, from suffering the same fate.”

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