Sarah Griffith is a friend of Mothers Out Front and a mother herself. A member of Climate Reality Project, she shares her thoughts on the anniversary of the Merrimack Valley gas explosions.
By Sarah Griffith
Last September 13, three towns in Massachusetts went from a calm, 70° day to a conflagration in minutes. A series of explosions followed by eighty fires suddenly broke out. Roads were chaos as electricity and street lighting went down, communications infrastructure failed, and visibility was cut by billowing fumes. One person died, dozens were injured, and 30,000 people were evacuated. Over a billion dollars has been spent refurbishing 8,500 homes and repairing miles of gas pipelines.
Given the scale of ongoing tragedies in the paper everyday—mass shootings, hurricanes, and political corruption—I have to admit that it was hard to take in the implications of this massive event immediately. It was only over time and by volunteering with Gas Leaks Allies that the dangers of the gas distribution system started to become apparent.
On the anniversary of the "catastrophic failure in the gas distribution system that caused explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley" on September 13, 2018, Mothers Out Front remembers the community's sacrifices and strength in overcoming the complete disruption of their energy system and their lives. We are proud to be a part of Gas Leak Allies newly released report Rolling the Dice: Assessment of Gas Safety in Massachusetts as "this report is the response of citizens and scientists motivated by a desire for a safe, healthy, and just energy system."
Mothers Out Front Concord takes it to the source! Congratulations to the team on being #inthenews and changing the conversation! Thank you to Concord Wicked Local for covering this issue.
“We’re here to hold them accountable, make them comply with the regulations and to keep their promises to measure and fix these gas leaks,” Davis said. “The reason we’re so fired up about this is because they’re over 16,000 gas leaks in the state of Massachusetts. And the methane that leaks out is 10 percent of our emissions in the state. It’s the same amount of emissions that all the business and stores in the whole state (discharge). It’s a huge greenhouse gas emitter.”
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Mothers Out Front Somerville is taking on National Grid, together with other teams throughout Massachusetts, to #FixBigGasLeaks!
“I’ve been in the same house for the last nine years and, like every other resident in East Somerville, I’m in National Grid territory,” she said. “I’ve known for years about gas leaks in the area — it’s been an ongoing problem for 20 years — but I started getting involved in Mothers Out Front in Somerville because I knew they were raising awareness about leaks as a safety threat and an environmental threat.”
- Mother Out Front Paola Massoli
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“Permitting this dangerous and toxic facility next to neighborhoods where residents raise families, send their children to school, and build communities is deeply negligent,” said Susan Lees of Mothers Out Front, an environmental activist group. “Governor Baker must show that he has the backbone to stand up to large energy corporations and intervene in this broken permitting process.”
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MA - WORCESTER! We want to send a huge shoutout to Mothers Out Front Worcesterfor their incredible progress on gas leaks this month, including TV press coverage (below), interviewing Gaylen Moore and Patricia Kirkpatrick. The team has been working to get gas leaks fixed at elementary schools and to highlight the health risks of gas, particularly for children. Worcester has one of the highest rates of asthma in the nation.
With gratitude and congratulations to the team!
This blog, written by Andrea Winslow, Arlington Mothers Out Front, was hosted at YourArlington.com!
See the blog post here and full text is available below:
Thank you to Bill Shaner for echoing our thoughts and for your support. Congratulations on the published editorial!
That’s why I was encouraged to see the local environmental activist group Mothers Out Front take to the Standing Committee on Public Health and Human Services earlier this week to demand that Eversource, the city’s natural gas supplier, fix all leaks in and around city schools. In the past, they’ve also petitioned the School Committee, the school administration and brought in a gas leak expert to tour the grounds of city buildings with a specialized car to detect leaks.
Read all about it below:
THANK YOU to WBUR for this incredible resource on the Weymouth Compressor Station story. In their words, "whether you've been reading about the issue for years and have questions, or are hearing about the project for the first time, here's what you need to know." We agree.
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Mothers Out Front Worcester took to City Hall on June 17th to demand that Eversource repair 5 leaks near schools!
During the hearing, residents and Mothers Out Front volunteers spoke about their personal experiences with gas leaks in the city. Worcester resident and Mothers Out Front volunteer Rhonda Wahya Hicks said she couldn’t sleep when a leak was discovered at her granddaughter’s school.
“I’m very angry that it’s taken so long. We’ve been fighting this for a while. Why is it taking this long?” she said during the meeting. “Anything that has the words gas leaks and schools should not even be a public forum. It should already be taken care of. We shouldn’t have to do any kind of talking.”
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