Natural gas pipelines can be divided into four main categories:
- Gathering Lines: linking gas drilling sites to large transmission systems; think “on ramp”
- Transmission Lines: large volume pipelines (wide diameter and high pressure) carrying natural gas across long distances, bringing it from drilling regions to end users and export terminals; think “super highway”
- Lateral Lines: Off-shoots of Transmission Lines, usually bringing high volumes to large markets, like specific cities, most often smaller diameter and lower pressure than transmission lines; think “off-ramp”
- Distribution Lines: Smaller diameter and much lower pressure lines run by utility companies to provide gas to end users; think “streets”
Although there are leaks at all points along these systems, leaks are most numerous in distribution systems. These have been the subject of many recent studies and energy policy proposals. Fixing the leaks can go a long way to helping reduce the need for more gas transmission lines.
So, what do gas pipeline leaks mean?
» Info from Clean Water Action
» Lost Leaks
MIT study tracks natural gas leaks from Eversource and National Grid systems that were not repaired, but have disappeared from public utility data between 2014 and 2015.
» HEET Gas Leaks Maps
Every year, utilities in Massachusetts report information about the natural gas leaks in their territories to the Dept. of Public Utilities. HEET (Home Energy Efficiency Team) used two years of reports to create the maps and information. Search for your town!
MA GAS LEAKS IN THE NEWS
» Boston City Council votes to crack down on natural-gas leaks
By Adam G, Universal Hub
December 4, 2016
» 20,000 Gas Leaks Cost Consumers And Speed Climate Change
by Craig Lemoult, WGBH News
May 24, 2016