May 25, 2017
 
 
 
 
No Fracked Gas in Mass now at tinyurl.com/NFGiM
 
 
 
 

ATLANTIC BRIDGE:
Citizens confront MA DEP over alleged collusion with Spectra/Enbridge on Atlantic Bridge

Many affected by the Spectra / Enbridge expansion of their Algonquin pipeline system (Atlantic Bridge, Access Northeast and the AIM West Roxbury Lateral), have been following the reporting of Itai Vardi of DeSmogBlog. Revelations from his May 18th article, "Massachusetts Let Spectra Energy Secretly Edit its Pollution Permit in Atlantic Bridge Gas Project", has stirred the already active opposition to Atlantic Bridge to take their complaints directly to the MA DEP.

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On Monday, a group stormed the MA DEP offices, arriving unannounced to make statements of grievances over the process and demanding a meeting with officials.

DEPmeeting

On Tuesday, they met with department officials to get their objections on record, along with a request for the air quality permit for the Weymouth Compressor Station to be revoked, and an independent review conducted.

WednesdayProtest

And on Wednesday evening, they protested along Bridge Street, near the compressor site.

With the fast pace of public push-back, information on upcoming protests and actions against Atlantic Bridge and it's Weymouth compressor station is most reliably found on the Families Against Spectra/Enbridge (FAS/E) Facebook page or South Coast Neighbors United.


Next, a Community Meeting on Air Pollution is planned for Tuesday, May 30, 2017, in which Dr. Curt Nordgaard and others will be presenting information gained from independent testing of the future compressor station site, and citing conflicts with the data reported by both DEP and Spectra.

TUESDAY — MAY 30, 2017 — QUINCY, MA
From NoCompressor.com: Due to the lack of local testing by Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), we took it upon ourselves to measure the current levels of pollution, such as benzene and formaldehyde, in the Fore River Basin. We worked with a local testing laboratory to gather data in and around the the proposed compressor site. FRRACS and the North Weymouth Civic Association also purchased formaldehyde testing badges that were analyzed by a certified testing laboratory.

The data that we have collected conflicts with both MassDEP’s and Spectra’s data. Dr. Curt Nordgaard, who has been leading the testing for the past year, will be presenting the data.

At the meeting, we will explain the testing, how it relates to the station, and what the results mean. We have invited local elected officials, as well as representatives from MassDEP, in the hopes that they will engage in an open dialogue about our concerns related to public health in our communities.

6:30 PM
Fore River Clubhouse
16 Nevada Road
Quincy, MA

» RSVP for the Facebook event here

BACKGROUND NEWS:

Massachusetts Let Spectra Energy Secretly Edit its Pollution Permit in Atlantic Bridge Gas Project
By Itai Vardi, DeSmogBlog
May 18, 2017
Massachusetts environmental officials allowed Spectra Energy to quietly review and edit a draft approval of an air pollution permit the state plans to grant the company for its Atlantic Bridge gas project.



» State OKs waterways permit for gas compressor station in Weymouth
By Jessica Trufant, The Patriot Ledger
May 18, 2017


South Shore Residents Protest Compressor Station In Weymouth
by Bill Sheilds, WBZ-TV
May 22, 2017

The proposal would put the new compressor station next to the Fore River Bridge in Weymouth. WBZ-TV's Bill Shields reports.


Massachusetts Admits to 'Regularly' Allowing Companies to Edit Draft Pollution Permits
By Itai Vardi, DeSmog Blog
May 23, 2017

This admission follows DeSmog’s reporting on emails showing the state had quietly provided Spectra Energy (now Enbridge) several opportunities to edit a draft pollution approval permit for a compressor station in the town of Weymouth as part of its Atlantic Bridge gas project.
Following these revelations, concerned citizens and activists from around the state converged earlier this week on the DEP’s offices for two separate protests. Among their demands, protesters want the DEP to revoke the draft pollution permit and redo the application process using an independent body.

» Read full story



CT EXPANSION:

Reports from Sandisfield

Thoreau Cabin Pipeline Barricade Rises Again

"Thoreau Cabin Pipeline Barricade standing its ground at Otis State Forest, in our Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to stop the Connecticut Expansion Pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan and Tennessee Gas Company; also to assert our resolve to stop the terrible hydro-fracking industry and corporate greed, and to object to the disregard for Article 97 of the Massachusetts State Constitution."
(Photo by Gregory Thorp, May 20, 2017)


Preparations for pipeline construction continue,
despite continued objections


Despite the multiple Requests for Rehearing and calls to revoke the Notice to Proceed by our elected officials, FERC has responded with a single, fairly standard statement known as a "tolling order", allowing itself more time than the 30-day statutory period to consider the merits of such requests for rehearing while construction continues. (See Delaware Riverkeeper's explanation of "tolling orders).  In the meantime, TGP (Kinder Morgan) continues on with preparation for construction. After tree felling, they've continued with stump removal, silt fence installation and other preparatory operations, and local residents have confirmed that lengths of pipe are now arriving.


Warren and Markey say FERC is wrong

by Heather Bellow, Berkshire Eagle
May 24, 2017


SANDISFIELD — Two U.S. lawmakers representing Massachusetts have once again slammed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for not listening to citizens and groups who have challenged various aspects of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.’s project, currently underway here.

“FERC is clearly wrong,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren in an email. “As pipeline construction moves forward, irreparable harm is being done to Otis State Forest. The Commission continues to ignore the voices of Western Massachusetts, which is wrong as a matter of policy and goes against FERC’s own guiding principles.”

“FERC should never have allowed this pipeline project to begin construction when it lacked a sufficient quorum to be able to evaluate and act on the challenges that have been raised by the local community,” Markey said. “When FERC cannot act on pending challenges to a pipeline project, it should not allow that pipeline project to move forward until those challenges can be heard.”



LOCAL UTILITIES ISSUES:

These local utilities (as well as others) are players in the larger energy picture. Though in different states, these two are fairly close in proximity and could combine to raise pressure for further large gas infrastructure development.

• Liberty Utilities (Keene, NH)
» Proposed natural gas facility in Keene gets go-ahead
By Xander Landen Keene Sentinel, May 23, 2017


» Liberty Utilities moving ahead on plans to switch to natural gas
By Matt Nanci, Keene Sentinel, Mar 29, 2016


• Berkshire Gas Moratorium (Pioneer Valley, MA)
» Editorial: DPU must hear concerns of area residents
Daily Hampshire Gazette, May 3, 2017

» Area legislators prod state regulators to act quickly on Berkshire Gas moratorium
by Mary C. Serreze, Springfield Republican / MassLive, April 27, 2017


» Follow new developments for both of these on our Local Utilities Page in the Issues Watch section of No Fracked Gas in Mass

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! - CHANCES FOR INPUT:

Eversource Rate Hike Proposal

Eversource (comprised of WMECO and National Grid), have filed a request for substantial rate hikes with the Massachusetts DPU. It includes new pricing that would give Eversource unprecedented profits and have extra charges for households converting over to solar / utility intertie.

DEADLINE TO FILE COMMENTS IS MAY 31, 2017


MA Senate Clean Energy Tour Continues

Held by the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, chaired by Senate President Pro Tempore Mark Pacheco, to get input from the public on critical issues related to clean energy and climate change. This is a good opportunity to voice your opinion on important environmental issues, such as stopping new gas pipelines and their accompanying compressor stations, LNG facilities and gas-burning electric plants, eliminating other high-carbon emissions generation like wood-burning biomass, keeping utilities from penalizing homeowners pursuing clean energy options, and boosting truly clean energy production and grid-scale storage for these systems. These hearings are your chance to bring your concerns and ideas directly to the MA Senate Committee.

Remaining hearings upcoming: Springfield, Pittsfield, Danvers, Boston
» Find more information


UPCOMING EVENTS - (See a full list on our Events Page)

The events listed here are not necessarily sponsored or conducted by No Fracked Gas in Mass. We offer them as a way of helping people participate in the full range of anti-pipeline, pro-clean-energy and environmental events shaping our future.



SATURDAY — MAY 27, 2017 — WENDELL, MA 18424118_297439987375948_6968992866273943560_n

AWAKE, A Dream From Standing Rock - Film Screening and Dinner. Come see the brand-new film documentary chronicling the events at Standing Rock by Josh Fox, James Spione, and Myron Dewey. Donations welcome to support the Indigenous Media Fund and Pipeline Fighters Fund, created by the filmmakers and Indigenous leaders. Each of the three sections of the film tells the story of the Standing Rock protests in the unique perspective and style of the filmmaker who created it.
This is the first of a three-part Water Protectors Film and Speaker Series co-sponsored by the Wendell Energy Committee and North Quabbin Energy. For more information: 978-544-3686.
» Facebook event page for more information
6 PM - 10 PM
6 pm – Community Potluck Dinner
7 pm – Film Showing and Panel Discussion
Wendell Town Hall
6 Center St.
Wendell, MA

TUESDAY — MAY 30, 2017 — QUINCY, MA
» See event in first story above

SUNDAY — JUNE 4, 2017 — NORTHAMPTON, MA
NVDA / Peacekeepers Training. You must have completed the full non-violence training in order to take this training and we prefer that you have participated in a large demo where arrests happened or could have, but you do not have to have been arrested yourself.
» To register: www.truthschool.org
3 to 6 PM
Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership
40 Center St.
Northampton, MA

WEDNESDAY — JUNE 7, 2017 — EAST GREENBUSH, NY
Geothermal Heating and Cooling Presentation about systems for homes, businesses and municipalities. The guest speaker, John Ciovacco, is a mechanical engineer and president of Aztech Geothermal (http://aztechgeo.com/) in Ballston Spa, NY.
Come learn how geothermal systems access renewable energy to heat and cool our buildings, reducing operating costs while eliminating on-site carbon emissions. Mr. Ciovacco will explain what geothermal energy is, and how it can be used to heat and indeed, cool buildings. He will also talk about the economic and environmental impacts of switching from a fossil fuel system to an electrically driven renewable heating and cooling system. He will update us on NYSERDA’s newly formed Renewable Heating and Cooling Division and the $15 million grant program recently authorized by Governor Cuomo.
Aztech Geothermal will offer groups of homeowners in the same neighborhood a substantial group discount.  So… encourage your neighbors to come to this presentation to make it more affordable for everyone!
Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline, a local grassroots organization, is co-hosting this event. The event and parking are free and light refreshments will be available.  
6:30 pm
First United Methodist Church
1 Gilligan Road
East Greenbush, NY


SATURDAY — JUNE 17, 2017 — NORTHAMPTON, MA
Non-Violent Direct Action Training - through the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership. These are appropriate for Sugar Shack folks and others wishing to learn the skills and foundations of non-violence in order to consider risking arrest in non-violence direct actions.
» To register: www.truthschool.org
9 AM to 5 PM
Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership
40 Center St. Northampton
 
 
 
 
We're fighting the CT Expansion pipeline, Access Northeast, Atlantic Bridge and others, keeping an eye out for possible resurrection of NED or other new projects. We're also working with PLAN-NE, Mass Power Forward and other organizations to help ensure bold steps away from fossil fuel dependency continue and grow!


No Fracked Gas in Mass is a program of Berkshire Environmental Action Team. Donations made through our direct online Donation button or mailed in check are tax deductible.
 
 
            
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