Geohazards: Threats To Pipeline Integrity

A geohazard is anything that impacts the integrity of the pipeline such as changing patterns in the frequency, duration and intensity of rain storms, changing water table levels, subsidence or erosion.

For years, citizens in Newton have been requesting better information, data sharing and transparency about the pipelines as if our health and safety, our economic security, and quality of life in our communities depend on it… because they do. 

In Newton, we have a vision of a FUTURE WITHOUT GAS. We have individuals and groups working together to advocate with city councilors for a city-wide plan to stop burning fossil fuels. We want to accelerate the retirement of the gas infrastructure through strategic triage and repair of the most dangerous and wasteful gas leaks while we work to expedite the electrification of residences and businesses. 

In Newton, there are schools as well as neighborhoods built on areas developed over wetlands and streams where flooding and poor drainage is a costly problem. So we need to add extreme weather damage or "geohazards" to our list of concerns, to our risk and resilience calculations when we talk about gas pipelines. (Newton's (Buried) Streams - Now you see them . . . Now you don't!)  

These geohazards cause a variety of hostile conditions that affect the integrity of the pipeline, some in new and unpredictable ways that make the old deteriorating leaky pipeline system increasingly vulnerable, dangerous, wasteful and obsolete. The solution is to promote leak repair over the replacement of so-called leak prone but not leaking pipelines and to take every opportunity to retire the gas pipes while we build and retrofit buildings free of fossil fuels. 

Imagine what is going on under our streets. Geohazards include: Saturated soil, rapid flooding, ice, frost heaves, frost jacking, rock indentation from rocks coming up from below, erosion, corrosion, mudflows, debris flows, earthquakes, landslides, subsidence, decompression cooling, lack of integrity of right-of-way, and hydro-technical issues upstream and downstream.

Our coordinated advocacy efforts will have many benefits of transitioning to non-emitting non-combusting sources of energy especially to avoid the hazards of gas blended with hydrogen in the high pressure gas distribution pipelines.


Pipeline Safety Trust Conference program. (YouTube)

Topics of special interest include 

Mountain Valley Pipeline: "Uniquely Risky"

How rising sea levels could damage building foundations. Salty water can seep through cracks, corroding steel supports. by YCC TEAM, December 1, 2022