Controversial Gas Compressor Station Moves Forward
Massachusetts regulators approved final permitting on Nov. 12 for the controversial Weymouth Compressor Station for the $452-million Atlantic Bridge pipeline project that would extend from New England to Canada.
A spokesman for Enbridge, which will own the Atlantic Bridge pipeline, says the proposed 7,700-hp compressor station is required to help serve the needs of the Atlantic Bridge project customers located generally north of Weymouth, including local gas utilities in Maine and Canada. The project also includes 6.3 miles of new pipeline in New York and Connecticut.
The project now awaits Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval before it can begin construction. On Nov. 15, Reps. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) and Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.) sent a joint letter to FERC urging them to deny Enbridge’s request to proceed.
“Over the last several weeks, at least three major utility companies that had bid for contracts to ship gas through the project have since withdrawn from the project altogether or stated they no longer need the project to fulfill existing gas delivery requirements to consumers,” the letter says.
The letter also cites concerns that the project may not be in compliance with state contingency plan requirements regarding the contamination of the station’s proposed location—a former industrial site in North Weymouth near the Fore River Bridge. Kennedy and Lynch say “it is out understanding the developers have no yet achieved the required permanent solution” for the site.
They also say the state Dept. of Environmental Protection earlier this year issued a notice of noncompliance to the developers following an audit of the developers’ site assessment and cleanup activities. Filings made by National Grid indicate that the utility itself says it doesn’t need the compressor, according to WBUR.