Bill backed by Massachusetts Legislature would identify, fix dangerous natural gas leaks

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BOSTON — A bill that requires natural gas providers to take immediate action to seal any dangerous leaks will soon be headed for Gov. Deval Patrick's desk.

The Senate on Thursday approved a final version of the bill that would create a classification system for leaks in natural gas pipelines.

Those classified as a Grade 1 leaks — posing the most risk to people and property — would have to be fixed immediately.

Grade 2 leaks, while not considered an imminent threat, would have to be repaired within one year of detection.

Gas companies would be required to report the locations of leaks and post a schedule for repairs. The companies would also be encouraged to propose repairs to aging natural gas infrastructure.

The House approved the bill on Wednesday.

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