Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Thousands of Potentially Harmful Natural Gas Leaks Found in Washington, D.C.
ERC ^ | 1/20/2014

Posted on 01/25/2014 4:05:59 PM PST by EBH

High levels of natural gas are escaping from the aging pipes beneath the streets of the nation’s capital, creating potentially harmful concentrations in some locations, a new study has found. Natural gas leaks pose explosion risks, health concerns, and contribute to climate change. The paper, which appears in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, also provides information that could help companies justify additional financial incentives for fixing leaks quickly.

Robert Jackson and colleagues note that natural gas leakage is a serious problem on multiple levels, including impacts on the economy and climate. Property damage is estimated at $133 million annually, and by one estimate, gas customers in the US between 2000 and 2011 absorbed the cost of escaping gas to the tune of $20 billion. And on the global scale, leakage can contribute to climate change. Methane is a potent GHG—far more potent than carbon dioxide.

But there’s also the potential threat to human life and health. On average, natural gas pipeline accidents in the US kill 17 people a year. Also, methane, the primary component of natural gas, can react with nitrogen oxides and spur the formation of ozone, which can aggravate asthma and other lung conditions.

Figuring out how to put a cap on leaks would mitigate these issues. But first, researchers have to know where the gas is coming from. A previous study the team conducted in Boston mapped out about 3,400 pipeline leaks along the city’s 758 miles of roads. The researchers decided to make a similar map in the nation’s capital.

In January and February 2013, they drove all of the 1,500 miles of Washington, D.C., roads with an instrument that took methane readings close to the ground every 1.1 seconds. They found nearly 6,000 leaks, with the highest concentration of methane at about 45 times what would be expected with no leak.

At 19 sites with high concentrations, the researchers tested the manholes. Some manholes had methane concentrations as high as 500,000 parts per million—about 10 times greater than the threshold at which explosions can occur. Researchers notified the gas company, and a follow-up test in June 2013 found that nine manholes still had dangerously high levels of methane.

The research suggests that the leaks are coming from city’s aging cast-iron pipe infrastructure, which makes up about 35% of the city’s main pipes.

“Financial incentives and targeted programs among companies, public utility commissions and scientists to reduce leaks and replace old cast-iron pipes will improve consumer safety and air quality, save money, and lower greenhouse gas emissions,” the researchers conclude.


TOPICS: Government; Unclassified; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: dc; energy; gasleaks; methane; natgasleaks; naturalgas; washingtondc
Well...aging infrastructure issues.
1 posted on 01/25/2014 4:05:59 PM PST by EBH
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: EBH

Just tell ‘em to shut their mouths.


2 posted on 01/25/2014 4:06:28 PM PST by Beowulf9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EBH

Combine that with the gasbaggery coming from the Capitol and the White House and it would be reasonable to think the place is ready to blow.


3 posted on 01/25/2014 4:09:04 PM PST by La Lydia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EBH

Frack it.


4 posted on 01/25/2014 4:10:32 PM PST by Libloather (Embrace the suck)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Beowulf9

Just tell ‘em to shut their mouths
= = = = = = = = = = = = =

That kind of gas leak and hot air is usually accompanied by Bovine Scat in large quantities.


5 posted on 01/25/2014 4:11:03 PM PST by xrmusn (6/98 --Because you have your head up your arse doesn't mean you have to have a crappy outlook.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: EBH
gas leaks "contribute to climate change"

Not to mention Mexican rstaurants

6 posted on 01/25/2014 4:11:11 PM PST by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EBH

Just fill the pipes with air and let the residents help save the Erf by not burning gas anymore.


7 posted on 01/25/2014 4:12:42 PM PST by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EBH

Not the way I’d like to see our corrupt and seditious political hacks removed from office but....


8 posted on 01/25/2014 4:17:23 PM PST by faithhopecharity (C)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EBH

Back when I was young and had a very sensitive nose, I could smell that stuff everywhere. I remember walking around a residential area of North Little Rock, AR and remarking how strong it smelled. Probably the people living there never even noticed it but I sure did.


9 posted on 01/25/2014 4:21:24 PM PST by Past Your Eyes (You can't force people to care. Sometimes I don't myself.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: faithhopecharity

Let’s see 435+2 plus 9....
Hopefully, the smoker of choice Boehner or Zero will walk by and the problem will resolve itself....


10 posted on 01/25/2014 4:21:41 PM PST by ptsal (Repubicans swallowing more kool-aide from Rove & Kristol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: EBH

QUICK ,throw matches


11 posted on 01/25/2014 4:24:07 PM PST by molson209 (Hillary Clinton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ptsal

I don’t wish any of them any harm just very early retirements. Maybe keep Biden around somehow for his entertainment value ?


12 posted on 01/25/2014 4:24:59 PM PST by faithhopecharity (C)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: EBH
Methane is a potent GHG—far more potent than carbon dioxide.

Given that the overnight low here in Aiken County, South Carolina was 18 and given that 18 is many degrees below normal, seems to me a generous helping of GHG would be a good thing.

13 posted on 01/25/2014 4:28:06 PM PST by upchuck (Stop this abuse now! Get behind Convention of States: http://bit.ly/1ak1Iz9)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


We need your help to keep the lights on.
FR is funded solely by contributions made by
liberty loving people who enjoy and use it.


Free Republic 1st Quarter Fundraising Target: $85,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $23,047
27%  
Woo hoo!! And the first 27% is in!! Thank you all very much!!
Two percent a day keeps the 404 away.

14 posted on 01/25/2014 4:33:37 PM PST by RedMDer (Happy with this, America? Make your voices heard. 2014 is just around the corner. ~ Sarah Palin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: EBH

It’s coming from Obama.


15 posted on 01/25/2014 4:34:12 PM PST by RedMDer (Happy with this, America? Make your voices heard. 2014 is just around the corner. ~ Sarah Palin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: molson209

Consider that this information has even been leaked(pun) and some industrious terrorist with a match?

Sigh...sometimes it amazes me what gets out to the public.


16 posted on 01/25/2014 4:37:12 PM PST by EBH ( The Day of the Patriot has arrived.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RedMDer

Ya know, they do say he has a nasty smell about him.


17 posted on 01/25/2014 4:45:42 PM PST by biff (WAS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: biff

Oh yeah.


18 posted on 01/25/2014 4:46:27 PM PST by RedMDer (Happy with this, America? Make your voices heard. 2014 is just around the corner. ~ Sarah Palin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: EBH

“about 10 times greater than the threshold at which explosions can occur. “

Well if its above the explosive level then there’s no issue! /s of course!

Natural gas has a small combustion range, between 4-14% concentration burning the fastest at 10%. Anything more or less will not burn, but if there is a heavy concentration, somewhere close by it is in that explosive range.

Leaks happen in old steel and cast iron systems, corrosion protection was not the greatest decades ago. Most utilities have periodic driving or walking surveys over mains and services with electronic equipment to detect leaks. If any are found, further investigation by making test holes in the area would tell if it is something that needs immediate attention.

One would think if the case here were actually as described immediate attention would be required.


19 posted on 01/25/2014 4:50:10 PM PST by jughandle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jughandle

I was thinking the same. I watch mythbusters enough to know that if they overdo it, there is no earth shattering kaboom.


20 posted on 01/25/2014 4:53:55 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: EBH

Most gas lines over 20 years old are steel, not ductile iron.

I didn’t realize there were any out there.


21 posted on 01/25/2014 4:57:00 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Beowulf9

Did McConnell fart?


22 posted on 01/25/2014 5:06:25 PM PST by vette6387
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: EBH

Well there is hope that the aging infrastructure and a match will take care of what the ballot box hasn’t in past years.


23 posted on 01/25/2014 5:16:39 PM PST by RetiredTexasVet (Stalin is smiling in Hell at how well Obama has copied his communist organization.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

I stopped reading as soon as I saw the word “climate change”


24 posted on 01/25/2014 5:37:33 PM PST by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ. In the US the number is 54%)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

I stopped reading as soon as I saw the word “climate change”


25 posted on 01/25/2014 5:37:33 PM PST by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ. In the US the number is 54%)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: EBH
I thought they already fixed that aging infrastructure problem with the hundreds of billions of "stimulus" money. I guess enough of it didn't make it out of the grubby hands of the unions, political cronies, and green businesses owned by Democrat bundlers to actually fix anything.

I guess the answer is to spend more. After all, it's only free government money.

26 posted on 01/25/2014 5:39:28 PM PST by Gritty (Nobody wants to hear about American exceptionalism when the issue is American ineffectualism-MSteyn)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EBH
Gas leaking in DC?

You had to know what was going to happen to the thread!

27 posted on 01/25/2014 6:33:19 PM PST by YHAOS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jughandle

If a private utility is responsible for the gas mains, this is surprising. If the fedgov or a municipal utility is in charge, no surprise.


28 posted on 01/25/2014 8:13:59 PM PST by Sicvee (Sicvee)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Past Your Eyes

That was just wafting over the river from downtown LR at the Capitol Building;)


29 posted on 01/25/2014 8:34:11 PM PST by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: jughandle
One would think if the case here were actually as described immediate attention would be required.

I noticed that very little hard information was given. I suspect that's because, like global warming, the real data doesn't justify even a news story.

30 posted on 01/26/2014 8:25:22 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (Over production, one of the top 5 worries for the American Farmer every year.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson