Officials Say Proposed Rules For Gas Leaks Are Too Lax

Proposed regulations that would allow Consolidated Edison's gas and steam systems to have a backlog of up to 100 unrepaired -- and potentially lethal -- gas leaks at the end of each year have drawn outrage from some officials, who say the rules do not go far enough in forcing Con Ed and other utilities to stop the leaks from occurring. The regulations come after a study in July revealed that Con Ed had 6,412 gas leaks in 2003, of which 2,251 were considered serious. According to the proposed rules, Con Ed would be allowed to end each year with a backlog of 1,800 total gas leaks, including 100 of the most dangerous types. The rules would not impose a limit on the number of leaks Con Ed can have in a single year.

By IAN URBINA

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