MA: New law requires prompt action on gas leaks

(AP) — A new state law requires utilities to pay close attention to natural gas leaks.

The law for the first time creates a uniform, three-tiered classification system for natural gas leaks. Those classified as Grade 1 leaks would be considered the most dangerous and gas companies would have to fix them immediately.

Gov. Deval Patrick held a ceremonial bill signing on Monday in Springfield, the site of a November 2012 natural gas explosion that leveled one building in the city and damaged dozens of others.

Leaks classified as Grade 2 would be deemed to pose a future hazard and must be repaired within one year, while Grade 3 leaks — those considered the least risky — must continue to be monitored.

Any gas leak found within a school zone would be prioritized.

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