Methane leaking from Sacramento gas pipelines adds to greenhouse effect

Aug 17, 2014 Full story:

The natural gas pipelines snaking under the Sacramento region likely leak a significant amount of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, scientists say.

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Houston, TX

#1 Aug 17, 2014
Gas leaks from pipes, duh.. liquids, too.

Houston, TX

#2 Aug 17, 2014
The Environmental Defense Fund is working with 90 colleges and universities on 16 studies relating to methane emissions and partnering with utility companies to quantify the extent of the problem.

“We need to make sure that utilities are using the best industry practices to maintain and inspect and repair these pipelines that run under our streets and neighborhoods,” O’Connor said.

To help reach that goal, the Environmental Defense Fund also is partnering with Google to use the company’s Street View cars, which are outfitted with sophisticated measuring equipment that allows them to survey neighborhoods and measure where leaks are occurring. The cars have been used in Boston and on Staten Island in New York City.

Many of the natural gas pipelines in Boston are a half century old and made of cast iron, which is known to corrode over time. In Boston, the Google cars found one methane leak per mile.

The Google cars are now being used to measure methane on streets in Southern California, O’Connor said, adding there are no plans to employ them in Northern California.

After the deadly San Bruno PG&E pipeline explosion four years ago, California placed stronger requirements on utilities to fix leaks that pose a danger to the public. PG&E has set a goal of replacing all of its 2,243 miles of cast-iron gas distribution pipe by the end of this year.

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