Press Statement RE: Weymouth Compressor Receiving Baker Permit Approval
On January 25th 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a certificate of public necessity and convenience for Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge pipeline expansion project. This project included a compressor station in Weymouth, Massachusetts. Since it was proposed in 2015 and till today, Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station and their allies at Mass Power Forward have fought long and hard. Today, the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) have denounced the Coastal Zone Management Determination of Consistency granted today to Enbridge, Canada for the Weymouth compressor station by the Baker Administration. FRRACS, a citizens group in the Fore River Basin, has met several times over the past four years with the agency to supply them with information and to request that the Determination be denied on its lack of need for a coastal location in a Designated Port Area (DPA). Weymouth Fore River is one of ten DPA’s in Massachusetts.
Alice Arena, Executive Director of the FRRACS, stated, “While this appears to be a blow to all those opposing this project–including the Towns of Weymouth, Braintree, and Hingham and the City of Quincy–we will not allow this siting to go forward. We will continue to fight this ill-conceived scheme by all means available and necessary. That the contracts for this gas are falling by the wayside on a daily basis tells CZM, DEP, and Governor Baker that this compressor station will be nothing more than a stranded asset for which the ratepayers will be held responsible. We are hoping that the DPU and the Attorney General are scrutinizing this situation.”
Leaders from state-wide coalition Mass Power Forward of over 200 organizations statewide chimed in:
“Unbelievable, another piece of bad news from Governor Baker,” said Claire Miller from Toxics Action Center. “He never fails to disappoint on trying to stop more carbon pollution in our state. His administration seems intent on letting down the planet on doing our part to stop polluting.”
“The Governor’s office and his agencies have again betrayed the public trust,” said Vick Mohanka from Clean Water Action. “The proposed compressor station’s siting flies in the face of environmental and climate justice as well as the laws we have in place to protect people, the environment, and the climate.”
“The process has been rigged from the start,” said Deb Pasternak from Sierra Club, “From the thousands of dollars Governor Baker received in donations from the law firm representing Enbridge, to his broken promises to visit Weymouth, to the flawed health impact assessment and missing air pollution data that Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) withheld. But, this is not the end. We will do everything in our power to stop this toxic compressor station from being built, and ensure the residents of the Fore River basin receive the justice they deserve.”
“The hypocrisy of this decision is infuriating. The Governor took a stand to ban vaping, a product which people choose to use and purchase with their own funds, because of its potential health risks. Yet, he has no problem approving a compressor station which is being forced upon residents who don’t want it, is not necessary and will further contaminate the air quality in an area in which thousands of people are already impacted by poor air quality,” said Laura Wagner from Unitarian Universalist Mass Action. The Governor is condemning the people in Weymouth to increased health risks while further committing the people of Massachusetts to an antiquated, dirty and dangerous form of energy. The Governor’s decision is a betrayal of the public process and completely disregards the well being of his constituents.”