By Cheryl Fiandaca

BOSTON (CBS) – Even with the installation of new gas lines, the potential for dangerous and explosive gas leaks still exists. Nathan Phillips an environmental scientist at Boston University said, “Outdoors or indoors if you smell gas, it’s unsafe.”

The reason, Phillips said that there isn’t any real protection replacing old gas lines with new gas lines, it comes down to the gas distribution system itself. He called th system vulnerable and flawed by its very nature of delivering combustible gas under streets, sidewalks and into homes.

If a water main breaks you get water damage. If a gas line fails, it could explode, so Phillips said “the stakes are high.”

New gas line in Merrimack Valley (WBZ-TV)

In fact, Phillips says gas leaks can be found virtually anywhere, telling the I-Team, “if we go on the streets of Boston we can find hazardous grade one leaks, even today.”

Just recently, Gas Leaks Allies, a coalition of researchers focused on reducing methane emissions released a safety report which recommended, among other things, instead of replacing pipes, invest in safer renewable energy.

Nathan Phillips, environmental scientist at Boston University. (WBZ-TV)

Phillips said, we are facing an energy crossroads. We have to think about transitioning to ground source heat pumps and an equitable renewable thermal energy system.

CLICK HERE to read Gas Leaks Allies full report.

Cheryl Fiandaca


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