July 12, 2019


(Image: Robyn Lubbock, WBUR)

Commissioner Suuberg adopts approval
of the air quality permit

From Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS)
July 12, 2019

DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg announced today that he will adopt the Presiding Officer's recommendation to approve the AQ permit. The petitioners (this includes FRRACS) will have seven days to file for a reconsideration. Our statement on this matter is available below.

The fight continues, folks. We won't stop until the project is dead.

*Note: Though a major step toward full permitting and construction, this is not yet the final permit to be approved for the Weymouth compressor station. The Wetlands and Waterways permit is currently under appeal. Until that is resolved, the Coastal Zone Management permit cannot be issued as well. That being said, construction could begin VERY soon if both are approved.
We'll keep you update when determinations are made on both of them.

FRRACS’ Statement
DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg gives Enbridge the green light to emit carcinogenic pollution into the Fore River Basin

Weymouth, Mass. (July 12, 2019) - Commissioner Martin Suuberg of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that he will adopt the Presiding Officer's recommendation for approval of the air quality permit for the Weymouth compressor station. The petitioners will have seven days to file for a reconsideration.

The Commissioner’s decision to ignore existing air quality data and to allow further pollution in the Fore River Basin will cause direct harm to the Fore River Community if the entire project is approved. The Commissioner and the Department itself could have prevented the exacerbation of pollution in the Basin but chose instead to grant additional polluting powers to Enbridge. By accepting Presiding Officer Jane Rothchild’s recommendation for a permit approval, Commissioner Suuberg accepted the faulty conclusions Rothchild drew from the testimony provided in the appeals. Rothchild concluded that the testimony of highly discredited gun-for-hire Peter Valberg, a toxicologist for the rented white coat organization Gradient, was more compelling than that of Dr. Philip Landrigan, one of the world’s leading authorities on public health and founding director of Boston College’s Global Public Health Initiative.

Rothchild also accepted Enbridge’s unsubstantiated conclusion that the installation of an electric compressor turbine as opposed to a gas-fired turbine would simply be too expensive for the multibillion-dollar company to afford, even though the Town of Weymouth proved that the electric turbine would not have the constant methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) leakage that the gas-fired turbine would have. Rothchild and Suuberg have failed to consider the environment or the public's health in their decisions.

Mass. OKs Air Permit For Controversial Weymouth Compressor
by Barbara Moran, WBUR
July 12, 2019

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Friday granted an air permit for a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth, removing another hurdle for the controversial project to proceed.

A statement from MassDEP spokesman Ed Coletta noted that the "ruling relies on an evidence and science-based evaluation of air quality and health impacts associated with the proposed project [and] takes into account all applicable state and federal requirements."

In a written statement, Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund said he was disappointed with the decision, "but not surprised given how this process has been conducted thus far." He called the process unfair to Weymouth and all South Shore residents.

» Read the full story

29 senators urge DEP to block
Weymouth gas facility

5 of 6 Republicans signed letter to Baker administration

by Chris Lisinski, State House News Service (via Commonwealth Magazine)
July 11, 2019

Nearly three-quarters of the Senate penned a letter Thursday urging the Department of Environmental Protection commissioner to rescind approval for a controversial natural gas compressor station in Weymouth, a significant escalation from what had been mostly staunch local opposition.

The two-and-a-half page letter, signed with bipartisan support by 29 of the Senate’s 40 members, asks DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg to reject the proposal. It was released one day before his final decision on whether to uphold an air quality permit under appeal is due.

» Read the full story

*Despite this support from 29 state senators, the DEP went ahead with approval

SATURDAY, JULY 13, 2019 • WEYMOUTH, MA • 3:00 PM
Bridge Standout to Stop the Compressor Station

3:00 PM
55 Bridge St.
North Weymouth, MA

DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg announced on Friday (July 12) that he will adopt Presiding Officer Jane Rothchild's decision to approve the air quality permit for the Weymouth compressor station. This is completely unacceptable.
We will not stand for this.

The Commissioner’s decision to ignore existing air quality data and to allow further pollution in the Fore River Basin will cause direct harm to the Fore River Community if the entire project is approved. The Commissioner and the Department itself could have prevented the exacerbation of pollution in the Basin but chose instead to grant additional polluting powers to Enbridge.

In response to the decision, we will be holding a large standout at the Fore River Bridge in North Weymouth. We will meet at the proposed compressor station site (55 Bridge Street) at 3pm and will walk up to the bridge. We will have some signs, but please feel free to bring your own! We hope that you can join us in voicing our outrage and concern as we prepare for the fight ahead.

Nonviolent Direct Action Training

6:30PM - 9:30PM
at The Democracy Center
45 Mount Auburn St.
Cambridge, MA

Hosted by Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station

» Sign up required

If you want to learn more about NVDA (Nonviolent Direct Action), please join us for this training. Taking part in direct action doesn't necessarily mean risking arrest. We encourage everyone to attend this training, as it is a useful and important tactic to learn about. The training will be facilitated by The FANG Collective.

NVDA Training by Extinction Rebellion

XR would love for members of you to participate in our next training on Non-Violent Direct Action in order to prepare for the continuing conflicts of the climate crisis.  It will be on Saturday, July 21, noon to 6pm, at MIT (room number provided closer to the date).

We also encourage folks to attend who will not be risking arrest but will be filling the various support roles needed.

Follow FRRACS on Facebook or on their website
to keep up with the latest news

In Setback for Vineyard Wind,
Conservation Commission Denies Cable

by Noah Asimow, Vineyard Gazette
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Developers who plan to build the nation’s first industrial-scale offshore wind farm south of Martha’s Vineyard saw their first major setback this week, when the Edgartown conservation commission voted to deny the construction of two undersea cables that would connect the 84-turbine, 800-megawatt wind farm to mainland Massachusetts.
The conservation commission voted 5-1 Wednesday night to deny the cables.
The surprising vote puts the giant renewable energy development on hold and marks the first denial of a project that has already received approval from a half-dozen regulatory agencies throughout the Cape and Islands, including the Cape Cod Commission, the Nantucket conservation commission, and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.

Businesses, communities doing quite well despite natural gas moratoria

Letter to the Editor, The Republican and MassLive
Marty Nathan MD, Climate Action Now
Jacqueline Velez, Holyoke Neighbor to Neighbor
July 11, 2019

We read with interest the letter from the Springfield Chamber decrying an “energy crisis” in Massachusetts, “Energy moratoria a danger to Western Mass business,” June 30, page C4. The writer complained of high energy prices and the application of moratoria on new gas hook-ups in Massachusetts cities and towns. She raised the specter of rolling black-outs and threats to new businesses in those towns that have suspended new gas service.

We represent two towns that have instituted gas moratoria, and we want to report that we are doing pretty well. Columbia Gas slapped a moratorium on Northampton four years ago and since then we have added new businesses and large residential complexes, including two major downtown apartment buildings. In the last year the City Council unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming acceptance of the moratorium and rejecting the proposed Columbia Gas pipeline from Agawam to Holyoke. CG had dangled the possibility that, if allowed to build the new pipe, it would have again allowed new hook-ups.

» Read the full letter

Karnes County TX natural gas facility
burns just before dawn  

By Jon Wilcox, Victoria Advocate
July 11, 2019   

A Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline facility in Karnes County caught fire Thursday morning.

About 5:40 a.m., emergency dispatchers received warning of the blaze and dispatched firefighters and sheriff’s deputies to the facility, said Emergency Management Coordinator and County Commissioner Shelby Dupnik.

Located at 8724 County Road 326, about two miles west of Runge, the facility pressurizes natural gas for pipeline transport, Dupnik said.

In spite of numerous safety features, a gas compressor at the location is suspected of failing and starting the blaze, he said.

No one was reported injured, and authorities have no reason to suspect foul play.

» Read article

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