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17 Jul 2014: Google Street View Maps
Show Extent of Methane Leaks in Cities

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Natural gas leaks in Boston

EDF/Google
Boston's natural gas leaks
New maps from Google reveal the locations of natural gas leaks in U.S. cities and highlight the extent of "fugitive" methane emissions associated with the nation's aging infrastructure. The Environmental Defense Fund partnered with Google Street View to map leaks in the nation's natural gas system, using cars equipped with air-quality sensors that collected millions of readings across Boston, Indianapolis, and Staten Island. The analysis found thousands of methane leaks in highly-populated areas — particularly in Boston, where half of the pipes are more than 50 years old and leaks were detected every few blocks. Although the leaks did not appear to pose explosion hazards, their prevalence highlights the potential for fugitive methane — a greenhouse gas with an impact 20 times that of carbon dioxide — to contribute to global warming.

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