DCIST - A new study by a research team from Duke and Boston universities found more than 5,800 natural gas leaks under Washington D.C., with a dozen that could have posed explosion risks.
The study, published today in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, was conducted in January and February of last year by driving the streets of D.C. with " a high-precision Picarro G2301 Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer installed in a GPS-equipped car." After finding the 12 dangerous leaks and reporting them to Washington Gas, researchers say they returned four months later to find "nine were still emitting dangerous levels of methane."
The average methane concentration observed in the leaks was about 2.5 times higher than in background air samples collected in the city. Methane levels in some leaks were as high as 89 parts per million, about 45 times higher than normal background levels.