Waltham, MA- A recent spate of natural gas-related house explosions has one city councilor wanting safeguards to help avoid similar incidents in Waltham.
Ward 9 City Councilor Robert Logan submitted a resolution Monday to the City Council regarding how the city deals with gas leaks.
This was before before a Manchester, N.H., man was killed in a house explosion Tuesday. It has not been determined whether that blast was due to a gas leak, according to the Associated Press. Tuesday’s incident was the fourth home explosion in New England since December.
Logan is asking the council to look into the Fire Department’s protocol for responding to and handling gas leaks. Also, he wants the council to consider developing an ordinance that would require the public works director to report when a line is being worked on multiple times, to both the mayor and City Council.
Logan said he’d like to see a new ordinance in place because it appears that gas companies make multiple repairs to one line instead of just replacing it.
“Once you realize you have a problem, you should devise a permanent and successful solution,” Logan said.
Logan noted in his resolution that many of the city’s gas lines are old, and prone to leaks.
“It’s sort of like wrestling with Jell-O,” Logan said. ”If you’re going to get that many leaks, might as well replace the whole main.”
Logan asked Fire Chief Richard Cardillo to discuss with the council how the department deals with gas leaks.
Cardillo yesterday said all Waltham Fire trucks are equipped with meters that are able to detect potentially combustible levels of natural gas.
“We take a different action for every circumstance, inside and outside gas,” Cardillo said.
When the odor of gas is detected, the department notifies the gas company immediately, Cardillo said.
“We work with the gas company, which is National Grid,” Cardillo said. “They are the experts.”
Cardillo is expected to appear before the City Council on Monday.
The house explosion in Manchester, N.H., occurred just five days after a blast in Somerset that leveled a home, killing a 62-year old woman.
The explosion of a home in January in Gloucester injured a police officer who lived there. A man was killed in December in a house explosion in Scituate.