Representative Jay Kaufman’s award winning public policy forum, “OPEN HOUSE,” invites you to a special collaborative forum co-hosted by the Lexington Board of Selectman and Lexington’s State House delegation.  The forum, the ninth of the 21st season of “OPEN HOUSE”, will examine the safety hazard, cost, and environmental impact of gas leaks in the community, and what National Grid is doing to fix them. The forum will be held on Tuesday, May 17th, from 7PM-9PM at Cary Memorial Building (1605 Massachusetts Avenue) in Lexington Center. This will replace the previously scheduled May 19 forum.

Massachusetts has one of the nation’s oldest natural gas pipeline systems which contains over 25,000 leaks, contributing to 8-12 billion cubic feet of gas lost annually. In the Boston area alone, gas leaks cost ratepayers $90 million annually and enough gas to heat 200,000 homes. Thirty municipalities, including Lexington, have recognized this concern and passed resolutions supporting gas leak legislation.  Under legislation signed into law in 2014, utilities must track and grade all leaks, immediately repairing the most hazardous leaks. The question is what’s next?

Speakers include Joseph Newman of National Grid, Ed Woll from the Sierra Club of Massachusetts, and Professor Nathan Phillips, Director of Boston University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Studies.

How long has this problem been going on? How are gas leaks classified and addressed?  Why are natural gas leaks a problem? How bad are the environmental concerns? What is National Grid really doing to alleviate this problem? Find out the answers to these questions, or bring your own. Don’t miss this forum May 17th, from 7PM-9PM.As always, the forum will take its shape largely from questions from the audience. Questions can also be submitted in advance at jay.kaufman@mahouse.gov, or tweet your questions to @repjaykaufman. 

In 1997, OPEN HOUSE was awarded the prestigious Beacon Award, cable television’s equivalent of an Emmy. The series was also named the best television series by Massachusetts Cable Television Commission. The OPEN HOUSE series is produced through a partnership between Representative Kaufman and LexMedia which records the forums for broadcast in Lexington and Woburn.