Inside Climate News: As New York’s gas infrastructure ages, some residents are left with leaking pipes or no gas at all
Inside Climate News reporter June Kim writes that New York City, which is aggressively pushing for a clean energy transition, is caught between moving away from fossil fuels and having to deal with its messy and deteriorating gas infrastructure.
In a nutshell:
An aging gas infrastructure in New York City is causing an increasing number of gas leaks and service disruptions, and low-income residents are being hit the hardest. The city's gas pipelines, some of which are over a century old, are showing signs of deterioration, leading to safety concerns. While the city is pushing for a clean energy transition, residents who cannot afford to upgrade their gas infrastructure are left without gas service for months or even years. Efforts are underway to support low-income communities in transitioning to clean energy, but funding and incentives remain limited.
“Furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and cooking equipment emit more carbon emission than anything else,” said John Mandyck, a CEO at Urban Green Council, a nonprofit group working to decarbonize buildings. “This is our number one climate issue in New York City.”
New York City's gas lines, like other cities with aging gas infrastructure, pose risks to human health and safety. Gas leaks present a significant danger to human health due to the release of volatile organic chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses. These toxic chemicals can form other harmful pollutants such as particulate matter and ozone. Gases like carbon monoxide can have acute health effects when inhaled, including headaches, dizziness, nausea and even death.
While the Inflation Reduction Act offers some relief by providing tax incentives to replace natural gas stoves and other appliances with electric ones, it's been a slow process getting that money into the hands of those who need it most, Kim reports.
Read more at Inside Climate News.