Capping methane emissions from natural gas infrastructure in Massachusetts

Reading time: 5 minutes
27 January 2020

Massachusetts is taking action to address methane leaks from aging natural gas distribution infrastructure. A regulation established in 2017 set out 2018, 2019 and 2020 annually-declining emissions limits for gas operators and requires them to report on the emissions from their pipelines. 

Natural gas is the main source of building heating in Massachusetts. The gas supplies come via pipelines from other states and by ship, as Massachusetts has no natural gas reserves or production of its own. This gas distribution system experiences leakage of methane, which is the main component of natural gas and a powerful greenhouse gas.

In Massachusetts, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is required to set economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction limits for 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050. By reducing methane emissions from natural gas, Massachusetts is working to ensure it meets its short-term and long-term emissions reduction limits.

This case study was developed as part of the Methane Project. The aim of this project is to support Under2 Coalition members to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations within their jurisdictions and showcase their achievements to other governments.

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