You certainly cannot have missed the installation of yellow gas pipelines across Newton this summer and perhaps been inconvenienced by the ubiquitous detours. Now National Grid has submitted more petitions requesting that the city of Newton grant an additional 1.6 miles of gas pipeline in three locations: 1) Commonwealth Avenue in Auburndale; 2) area near the intersections of Homer, Lowell and Commonwealth; and 3) area near Waverly Avenue and Ward Street.
Not only will this construction snarl traffic and damage pavement but, more importantly, the cost will be $4.2M, borne by ratepayers. At the same time, these new pipelines will repair less than 10 methane leaks.1 There are 648 methane leaks in Newton’s pipelines that collectively emit 257.9 metric tons of methane per year (equal to 22,178 metric tons of CO2).2 National Grid could repair ALL of them for $2.6M.3 Managing pipelines for safety via repair is not only cost effective, but it is also a proven safe and effective solution, and repairs are much less disruptive than installing new pipelines.
The petition for new gas pipelines is on the Newton City Council Public Facilities Committee’s agenda for Thursday, September 8 at 7pm.
- Please attend this online meeting and express your support for repairing leaks rather than installing costly infrastructure that will become obsolete and burden ratepayers as the nation transitions off of fossil fuels.
- You can also email the Public Facilities Committee to let them know that you support repairing leaks rather than installing costly infrastructure that will become obsolete and burden ratepayers as the nation transitions off of fossil fuels. Send your email to the clerk of the Public Facilities Committee Cassidy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Based on the most recent estimates of pipeline replacement and pipeline repair costs, from research by Dr. Dorie Seavey showing an average National Grid’s pipeline replacement cost of $2.6M/mile
3 Average leak repair cost = $4k, page 10 of Dr. Seavey’s report
Leslie A. Zebrowitz is Professor of Psychology & Manuel Yellen Professor of Social Relations, Emeritus at Brandeis University and the co-chair of the Newton EV Taskforce.
Nathan Phillips is a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University.