Why I Started this Blog
I launched this blog out of a growing sense of frustration and concern over a seemingly never-ending pattern of reported gas leaks, so-called repairs, and new reports of gas leaks where I live on O Street, NW in Georgetown. This blog includes a menu with links to resources and news stories about natural gas leaks in Washington, DC, how to recognize gas leaks, and what to do if you smell gas.
Too Many Horror Stories
According to a study by Stanford University, incidents involving natural gas pipelines cause an average of 17 fatalities and $133 million in property damage every year.
Unfortunately, there are too many horror stories in the Washington area and across the country about what can happen if gas leaks go undetected or are ignored. See the photo at the top of this page, which shows the result of a 2010 gas line explosion in San Bruno, California, a suburb of San Francisco.
The loud roar and shaking led some residents of the area, first responders, and news media to initially believe that it was an earthquake or that a large jetliner had crashed. It took crews nearly an hour to determine it was a gas pipeline explosion The explosion and resulting shock wave registered as a magnitude 1.1 earthquake. Eyewitnesses reported that the initial blast had a wall of fire more than 1,000 feet high. (Source: Wikipedia)
Share Your Concerns and Experiences
Because neighbors on adjacent streets have shared with me similar concerns about continual gas leaks and repairs (or non-repairs) by the gas company, I am reaching out to see if others in our community have had these or other issues with the gas company, Washington Gas Light. Indeed, one neighbor told me that the cycle of leaks-repairs-leaks has been going on for the 40 years she has lived on our street.
Other neighbors have complained about the poor or questionable way gas meters were installed in front of their houses, how their sidewalks have been torn up months because of uncompleted repairs, and about the smell of gas which has never been satisfactorily addressed.
No Communication with Community
Mst recently, several blocks including ours had “no parking” signs posted so that the gas company could use the streets for “construction staging areas.” In fact, it appears that they simply paved over the holes they dug earlier. There was indication or notice to the community how, or if, they addressed the gas leaks.
My efforts to find out the status of the repairs were not successful. When I called the Washington Gas Light Co. to ask when the repairs in front of my house would be completed, they told me they had no record of me reporting a strong small of gas several weeks ago and no record of sending out a crew to address the matter a few hours after my call. This is the same crew that worked until midnight in the freezing cold to dig holes and investigate the situation and said they would be back. They never returned.
Call to Action
In the hope that our public officials, the media, and others in our community will take an active and serious interest in the gas-related issues facing our neighborhood, I hope you will share with me any issues or concerns you’ve had with the gas company. If you do not wish to post your comments here, feel free to send a confidential email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will gather the stories and case studies and share them with our elected officials and the media. I would hope that the presentation of a pattern of persistent problems in our neighborhood will help lead to greater public awareness, priority attention from public officials, and expedited and long-term solutions from the authorities.
Thanks for sharing your concerns and experiences about this important matter.