O’Malley calls for hearing on gas leaks

Jamaica Plain City Councilor Matt O’Malley last month filed an order for a public hearing on the problem of natural gas leaks in the city, according to a press release. A public hearing has been scheduled for September.

Gas leaks have been a concern for some residents in Jamaica Plain. Some residents say the leaks have led to trees dying along the Arborway, as the Gazette previously reported. O’Malley was approached by Mothers Out Front, which includes JP resident Viki Bok, about the problems of natural gas leaks.

O’Malley is co-sponsoring the measure with Mission Hill City Councilor Josh Zakim.

“The natural gas pipeline in Greater Boston is extensive and provides much-needed heat and hot water to residents and businesses,” said O’Malley, according to the press release. “However, parts of this system are decades old and are starting to cause serious problems throughout our neighborhoods. The City needs to examine this issue because it affects public safety, the environment and consumers.”

Studies have shown that there are thousands of gas leaks in Boston and they affect every neighborhood. A Harvard-led study found that around $90 million of natural gas leaks from the Boston area system each year and that cost is passed on to the consumer.

“Just because we can’t see the leaking gas doesn’t mean we can ignore it,” said Bok, according to the press release. “It is adding dollars to our monthly utility bills, and more importantly, it is risking our kids’ health and safety, and is turning out to be a much bigger contributor to climate change than people had any idea.”

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