Councilor Lederman Holds Update on Gas Leak Repair
At-Large Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman, Chairman of the City Council Committee on Sustainability & Environment, held a committee meeting on Wednesday to receive an update from Eversource regarding their leak repair program and planned infrastructure improvements in Springfield.
“We worked closely with Columbia Gas around leak repair and infrastructure improvements, and I am working to build that same professional relationship of communication and accountability now with Eversource,” said Councilor Lederman.
Leaks are classified by the state on a grading system from 1 to 3. Grade 1 leaks are considered an immediate hazard and are repaired immediately. Grade 2 leaks are considered less hazardous and must be repaired within 12 months. Grade 3 leaks are considered non-hazardous, however grade 3 leaks that emit large amounts of gas are known as super-emitters and must be repaired.
The Committee was briefed by Eversource officials and engineers who shared that since taking over operations from Columbia Gas in October they had repaired 87 Grade 2 leaks in the city, bringing the total number of outstanding Grade 2 leaks down to 19.
Eversource officials reported 218 Grade 3 leaks currently exist in the city, with zero super-emitters, with Eversource having repaired 17 Grade 3 leaks since taking over operations.
Eversource officials also shared with the Committee that they plan to replace more than 255,000 feet of outdated cast-iron and unprotected steel pipe throughout the city between now and 2025, which will continue to reduce the number of Grade 3 leaks.
Prior to Eversource’s purchase of Columbia Gas, Councilor Lederman worked to secure commitments for an accelerated leak repair program and infrastructure upgrades in Springfield with the former utility, and supported the passage of state legislation requiring repairs of previously unrepaired “Grade 3” Leaks, including those classified as “Super-Emitters” for the first time.
At it’s height, there were previously 566 identified outstanding gas leaks in Springfield in 2017, including large numbers of Grade 2 and 3 leaks.
“Ensuring that leaks are repaired and infrastructure is upgraded appropriately is essential to protecting public safety, health, and our environment,” said Councilor Lederman, “It is good to see the number continue to come down, and we will continue to work together with Eversource to move that number lower and lower towards total elimination.”
The virtual meeting can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx_Xff9Li-k