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Newton Gas Leaks


Did you know Newton has many hundreds of unrepaired gas leaks?

For the past 5 years, Mothers Out Front Newton has been raising awareness about methane gas leaks. Leaking methane gas causes indoor and outdoor air pollution, drives climate change, kills trees, and can pose an explosion hazard. We continue to call for accountability and transparency from National Grid, and we advocate for state and local policies that will fix gas leaks for good.


Newton's Gas Leak Map

Every year, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities requires gas companies to report the location of both un-repaired and repaired gas leaks.

As of December 2021, Newton had 649 unrepaired gas leaks (yellow) and 231 repaired leaks (red). Gas leaks are measured in the streets, not the buildings. They are identified by the nearest address.

Is there a leak near you? Use Newton’s Interactive Gas Leaks Map to find gas leaks polluting the air on your street or near your child’s school. To see the full scope of our statewide gas leaks problem, check out the Statewide Leak Map from HEET.

Unrepaired gas leaksYellow   Repaired leaksRed

How are gas leaks prioritized for repair?

Grade 1 leaks are potentially explosive. They 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 are required to be repaired or eliminated within 8 years.

Grade 3 SEI – leaks are greater than 2000 square feet and have 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.

Note: These are underestimates. Only reported leaks are included. Independent researchers typically find 1.5 to 3 times as many leaks as utilities report.

Who creates the gas leaks maps?

HEET, a Cambridge-based nonprofit working to cut carbon emissions, generates gas leaks maps using data reported by gas utility companies. They have maps of every town in Massachusetts. Check it out here.


Natural gas is leaking all around us – near homes, schools & businesses. Massachusetts has one of the oldest gas pipeline networks in the country, and many of our pipes are made from leak-prone materials like cast iron and bare steel. Some of the pipes running under our streets are more than 100 years old! Check out these activities to learn more about our gas leak system.

Decode Gas Pipeline Clues

Utility companies keep track of their work underground by spray-painting marks on the street. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Decode the yellow street markings and find the gas valve turn-off caps.

Check out the Read Our Streets Activity.

Play Gas Leak Bingo!

Discover clues to the hidden network of old leaky pipes under our streets! We have created a bingo game that families and educators can use to learn more about our gas system.

Download a Bingo Card!

Become a Tree Detective

Walk your neighborhood, and look for sick or dead street trees. Use our Tree Log to record what you see.

Look for the signs!

  • Are there bare branches when other trees are blooming and full of leaves?
  • Are there mushrooms feeding on dying wood?
  • Do you smell gas (rotten eggs)?

Check the Newton Gas Leak Map, and find out if gas leaks are sickening trees in your neighborhood.

Print Your Tree Log

What You Can Do

Join the Newton chapter of Mothers Out Front! Help us create a sustainable future for our children.

Report a Gas Leak

If you smell gas, call 1-800-233-5325.

Join Us!

Join the Newton Chapter


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