SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There are hundreds of active gas leaks in western Massachusetts, and you might not even know it. Some may be right in your neighborhood.
There are currently more than 1,200 active gas leaks in western Massachusetts. These Columbia Gas lines have been deteriorating for years from age and winter weather.
Gas leaks are categorized at 3 levels:
- Grade 1 leaks need to be fixed immediately.
- Grade 2 leaks are “non-hazardous”, but need to be fixed within a year.
- Grade 3 leaks are also “non-hazardous”, and aren’t expected to become a hazard.
22News broke down how many “Grade 3” gas leaks are happening in your community right now. Below are the communities with the highest number of gas leaks. The numbers in parenthesis show how many of them are “Grade 2” leaks.
- Springfield: 537 (52)
- Chicopee: 155 (33)
- West Springfield: 97 (7)
- Northampton: 91 (10)
- Agawam: 78 (12)
- Longmeadow: 59 (2)
“I think people are frustrated, because I think a lot of people didn’t know that this was going on,” says Ania Camargo from Mothers Out Front. Local advocacy groups – like Mothers Out Front – are sharing this information to the community.
Jesse Lederman of Arise for Social Justice told 22News, “This is really an issue that hits home for them. This is something that impacts their energy bills, their public safety, their health, and the environment that they’re living in.”
Columbia Gas currently has a project underway to fix these leaks. It’ll take 20 years to replace 42 miles of pipe at $80 million each year.
Columbia Gas has agreed to meet with the groups at the end of June to discuss the issue and plan the restoration.