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Leaking Natural Gas Lines Report Blasts Utilities

The Connecticut Energy Marketers Association (CEMA) representing the states 600 family owned home heating oil dealers commends Senator Markey (MA) for his outstanding leadership on the issue of old leaking natural gas lines and their impact on our communities and America.


 


Based on the findings in Sen. Markey’s report ‘America Pays for Gas Leaks”;, CEMA cautions the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) in their overly aggressive posture to promote a massive natural gas expansion project in Connecticut, that is currently being reviewed by the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA), to address the issue of leaking lines in Connecticut first, before further harm is done to the environment, public safety and our economy.


 


When the state’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy was released last year it promoted the expansion of 900 miles of new gas lines.  CEMA submitted testimony urging DEEP to ensure that the old and outdated natural gas pipes be replaced. 


 


‘We raised issues to DEEP when their misguided gas expansion plan was released last year and we raise our concerns again in light of this new report detailing the dangers of leaking gas lines” CEMA President Chris Herb


There are about 1,600 miles of cast iron pipe and 200 miles of steel pipe buried in the ground in Connecticut. 27% of Yankee Natural Gas’ entire pipeline system, 19% of Connecticut Natural Gas’ system, and 30% of Southern Connecticut Gas’ system is made of outdated pipe, according to the companies’ reports.


Yankee Gas, in a filing with the state Department of Public Utility Control in January 2011, estimated it would take 67 years to replace its remaining inventory of cast iron gas mains and nearly 15 years to replace its bare steel gas mains.  Yankee’s own data show the rate of leaks in its system, has more than doubled in a 20 year period.


Sen. Markey’s report states that Nstar Gas, who recently merged with Connecticut based Northeast Utilities (NU), customers in Massachusetts paid $109 to $229 million for unused natural gas that leaked into the atmosphere.


 


Herb stated that ‘DEEP must take pause and reconsider the CES and their support of the state’s gas utilities request to expand in Connecticut, until we are assured that any and all leaking natural gas lines are fixed”.


 

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