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Newton, MA: Gas Leak Gazette #5


The Gas Leaks Gazette #5

Newton, MA – April 2021

[PDF Version]

Announcing Newton’s 5th Annual Gas Leaks Awareness Campaign

NOW – May 9, 2021 Mothers Out Front Newton invites families and friends to join us for our 5th Annual Gas Leaks Awareness Campaign to highlight the waste and the dangers of Newton’s hundreds of un-repaired gas leaks. Register to participate in two activities that reveal the hidden world of leaky gas pipelines under our streets, Read Our Streets Bingo and Protect Our Trees. Learn more and sign up to participate HERE.

NEWTON GAS LEAKS as of 12/2020

730 Unrepaired gas leaksYellow

349 Repaired leaksRed

Grade 1 leaks are potentially explosive and must be repaired immediately. They are leaks in or near a contained space, such as a building or manhole.

Grade 2 leaks are considered non-hazardous, but could become hazardous in the near future. They must be repaired within a year.

Grade 3 leaks are considered non-hazardous and are expected to remain non-hazardous. Grade 3 leaks designated on or after 1/1/2018 are required to be repaired or eliminated within 8 years.

Grade 3 SEI leaks are greater than 2000 square feet and are significant environmental impact (SEI). SEIs are 7% of all leaks yet are responsible for approximately 50% of all methane emissions. They are required to be repaired in 1-3 years.


Every year, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities requires gas utilities to report the location of gas leaks and repaired leaks as ofthe last day of the year. HEET* uses the reports to map the leaks to the best of its ability given the data provided.

Note: These are underestimates. Only reported leaks are included.. And the state is using an older conservative method of estimating the rates at which pipes emit methane. Independent researchers typically find 1.5 to 3 times as many leaks as utilities report. The leaks are on public streets, not inside buildings.

*HEET is a tax-deductible nonprofit working to cut carbon emissions now by driving systems change. Donations are always needed and greatly appreciated. (


Local Campaign: Stop Gas Leaks

Mothers Out Front/Newton works to raise awareness of Newton’s dangerous and wasteful gas leaks and to promote safe clean energy.