You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Rally calls for National Grid to repair gas leaks

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 7/31/2019 Aidan Ryan
a group of people on a sidewalk: Members of Mothers Out Front, Gas Leaks Allies, the Sierra Club, and other environmental groups gathered between the Government Center MBTA stop and the John F. Kennedy Federal Building to bring attention to the problem. © Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff Members of Mothers Out Front, Gas Leaks Allies, the Sierra Club, and other environmental groups gathered between the Government Center MBTA stop and the John F. Kennedy Federal Building to bring attention to the problem.

Protesters decked out in neon orange, yellow, and green vests called on National Grid to repair gas leaks across the state at a rally in Boston on Wednesday.

Members of Mothers Out Front, Gas Leaks Allies, the Sierra Club, and other environmental groups gathered between the MBTA’s Government Center Station and the John F. Kennedy Federal Building to bring attention to the problem, a waste of energy and a significant contributor to climate change.

Organizers said the rally was held at a site of a major leak near the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Protesters held signs with large letters that spelled #FIXBIGGASLEAKS for a drone that took pictures from above, and many pointed to a dead tree at the center of the circle as evidence of the nearby leak.

“We need to hold our utilities accountable for the gas that’s leaking all over the state, said Debbie New, 51, a volunteer with Mothers Out Front, a climate change activist group. “National Grid in particular is not taking care of their infrastructure. It’s leaky.”

Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley, one of several elected officials who spoke at the rally, told protesters that he will press utilities to make repairs a priority.

“This is not only an environmental issue, this is a social justice issue,” he said. “This is a public health issue.”

A spokesperson for National Grid did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

State Senator Jamie Eldridge said National Grid has the resources to reduce the damaging leaks.

“What we know is methane leaking from our gas pipes is 34 more times destructive than carbon emissions,” said Eldridge, a Democrat from Acton. “So it is absolutely critical that we close these gas leaks.”

Protesters said gas leaks, along with other pollution issues, disproportionately affect minority and low-income residents. Ahria Ilyas, 18, a member of the Boston Student Advisory Council, said the group has an environmental justice subcommittee that deals with issues of climate change.

“This is one of the many things that we do to dismantle environmental racism,” she said.

Roslyn Feldberg, 74, said she wants to make sure she does her part to ensure the planet is sustainable for future generations.

“I have a grandchild on the way, and I want to be sure there’s a livable climate for my grandchild,” she said, “and for everybody else’s as well.”

Aidan Ryan can be reached at aidan.ryan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AidanRyanNH.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon