Common Goals, Uncommon Partners

Seeking Solutions to Methane Emissions

Peeling up the pavement in search of a Large Volume Gas Leak.


The Gas Leaks Allies will convene a summit on October 3 to share findings of gas leak studies taking place in Massachusetts. Representatives of utility companies — specifically those involved with natural gas, academic scholars and researchers, and citizen stakeholders will be presenters.

Spurred by recent state legislation mandating that the utilities address “environmentally significant” leaks, gas companies in Massachusetts need to develop the best possible methods to measure the methane emissions and prioritize the highest volume leaks for repair. This summit will provide a platform for technical experts and independent researchers to share results and implications of studies assessing the effectiveness of various methods of measurement.

Gas companies in Massachusetts need to develop the best possible methods to measure the methane emissions and prioritize the highest volume leaks for repair.
HEET’s Jason Taylor measures a possible gas leak.

The Gas Leaks Allies is a coalition of environmental and grassroots organizations, researchers, legal and policy experts, health practitioners, labor unions, and other advocates in Massachusetts. We have been working together successfully for more than two years to get gas leaks fixed to cut methane emissions. In collaboration with the three largest utilities in Massachusetts — National Grid, Eversource, and Columbia Gas — we have undertaken a pilot study with the goal of finding ways to most effectively reduce methane emissions from leaking gas pipes. Our findings will inform statewide regulations.


MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Environmental Solutions Initiative, and ClimateX

Harvard University’s Graduate Program in Sustainability and Center for Health and the Global Environment at T.H. Chan School of Public Health

BU’s Earth and Environment Department

Summit and Study Objectives:

Inform statewide regulations: Present measurable, verifiable, effective methods to cut methane emissions in half by finding and fixing the highest volume gas leaks.

Achieve a win-win-win solution for utilities, people, and our climate.

Support municipal efforts to communicate and coordinate with utilities.

Share solutions and best practices with stakeholders beyond Massachusetts.

Maps, created by HEET, document gas leak emissions occurring in towns and cities throughout Massachusetts

Summit Program:

What’s the problem?

Status of gas infrastructure, research on methane, current legislation and regulation

Mothers Out Front’s Zeyneb Magavi uses the innovative Fluxbar to measure a gas leak.

What methods do we have to measure gas leaks?

Current methods of detecting environmentally significant gas leaks

New technologies included in the study

What have we learned?

Study findings: Successes and challenges, recommendations, and further study

Discussion and Q&A

What’s next?

Implementing solutions

National implications

Replicating our model of innovation and collaboration

Gas Leaks Allies Members

The Gas Leak Allies head towards their October 3 Summit, as collaborative work with the utilities moves ahead.


Boston Climate Action Network

Brookline GreenSpace Alliance

Clean Water Action

Climate Action Now–Western MA

Conservation Law Foundation

Consumers for Sensible Energy

Emerald Necklace Conservancy

Friends of the Public Garden

Garden Club of the Back Bay

Gas Safety USA

Green Committee, Neighborhood Association of Back Bay

Green Justice Coalition

Home Energy Efficiency Team

MA Health Professionals For Clean Energy

Mothers Out Front

Sierra Club, MA Chapter

Springfield Climate Justice Coalition


Dr. Nathan Phillips, Boston University

Dr. Margaret Cherne-Hendrick, Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy

ATTENDING THE SUMMIT: If you would like to attend the October 3rd summit “Common Goals, Uncommon Partners, please register here.