November 29, 2019

 
 
 
 
WEYMOUTH / ENBRIDGE COMPRESSOR
Enbridge Receives Final Permit;
Construction of Weymouth Compressor Station Expected to Start Tuesday

After receiving approval from the Mass. Coastal Zone Management and word from Mass DEP that they'll be able to build if they intend to clean up site contamination while constructing the compressor station, Enbridge immediately filed a Notice to Proceed with FERC. On the day before Thanksgiving, FERC granted final permission to move ahead. Based on Enbridge's notification of the Weymouth Conservation Commission, it looks like construction on the site could start as early as next Tuesday, December 3rd.

As usual we're passing on the latest word from Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station. We highly recommend signing up for their email list and signing the pledge to take action to stay up to date as quickly as possible.

Update from FRRACS

Dear Friend of FRRACS,

It's the beginning of the Holiday Season for most of us, and as per usual, Enbridge and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) have been busy preparing presents for all of us! 

On Monday, Enbridge filed the Final Release Abatement Measure along with some very unsatisfactory answers to all of our comments. This Final RAM allows them to start digging in the arsenic and oil laden soil.  The DEP did not even make them answer to the questions of asbestos in the soil due to the decomposing furnace bricks.  Enbridge filed a notice with the Conservation Commission of the Town of Weymouth to begin digging this coming Tuesday, December 3!  You can read the RAM here--all 1692 pages of it.

This morning, FERC granted Enbridge the Notice to Proceed (NTP) construction on the compressor station.  While this was not unexpected, it comes over the objections of all of us, our Federal delegation, our state legislators, the Town of Weymouth, our allies, and pretty much everyone you can think of except for Gov. Baker.

While the contracts for the gas dry up, FERC is abdicating its role as overseeing "necessity" for gas and gas infrastructure.  They are an agency that has always been in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry, but now they are just allowing the gas companies to do whatever they want without proving need for the gas.  And, guess what?  We will all pay for the folly of Enbridge and FERC through our utility bills.  National Grid and Eversource say they don't need more gas and they don't need the Weymouth compressor station.  NG New England (Canadian company) is trying to sell their contracts back to National Grid.  Irving (Canadian as well) has entered into new agreements to get the gas they were to receive from this pipeline from Canadian sources.  No need for the gas.  No need for the compressor.  But Enbridge wants it, so FERC provides...with your money.
We really did not want to ruin your Thanksgiving, but we want you to know that we are still in the fight.  With your help--your time, your treasure, and your talent--we are not giving up this fight.  We will work to stop this by all means available.  And we need you to stay focused, stay strong, and stay with us as a community. 

How are we fighting?  We are:
    •    Fighting in court on the Air Quality permit and the Waterways permit. We are also looking for appellate relief on the Coastal Zone Management determination.
    •    Working with our local governments and our state delegation to keep the heat on FERC and Enbridge for this unnecessary compressor in our Environmental Justice neighborhoods.
    •    Working with our federal delegation to change FERC and their mandate to push fossil fuel.
    •    Working with our allies to organize actions on the ground.
    •    Working with all of you to keep you informed, organized, and strong.

Will you join us?  If you have not signed the pledge yet, please go here to sign up to help on the ground wherever you can.

To the Trolls who are likely on this email site, know that we are not going to give up or give in.  Those who seek to destroy our coastal home and our planet will ultimately lose this war.  Let's hope that it is sooner than later, as every day we get closer to planetary destruction.  All because the few refuse to join the many to save us all.  We wish you a change of heart and attitude over this season. We invite you to join our side.

Just one more thing--FRRACS is committed to non-violence in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.  We will continue non-violent civil disobedience trainings throughout this battle.  If you have not attended a training, please check our Facebook page or the website for upcoming times. 

We were reminded this morning by Dr. Curt Nordgaard of a poem by Maya Angelou:

"You may trod me in the very dirt.
But still, like dust, I'll rise." 

We will rise. 

In Peace and Solidarity,
The FRRACS Team

NEWS

Compressor construction could begin Tuesday
By Joe DiFazio, The Patriot Ledger
November 27, 2019

WEYMOUTH — After years of legal fights, protests and political lobbying, construction on a controversial natural gas compressor station in Weymouth could begin as early as Tuesday.

The proposed 7,700-horsepower station has been met by vociferous protest from residents and lawmakers, but multinational energy transportation company Enbridge and its subsidiary Algonquin appear ready to start building after a last go-ahead from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A company hired by Enbridge has told residents that it could start clean up work on the Fore River site on Tuesday, but Enbridge itself would not confirm Wednesday when work would start.

Alice Arena, a Weymouth resident who heads the group Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station, said it was typical for the federal government and a large company to make this kind of announcement around the holidays, calling the development “not completely unexpected.”

“Our response is one of great disappointment,” said Arena. “We will take (Thanksgiving) as a breather and to be with our families and then we’re going to continue to fight.”
Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund urged the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in a letter to halt the construction of the compressor and further examine the presence of arsenic, which is dangerous to humans, and other contamination at the site.



Weymouth gas project gets final federal OK
By Danny McDonald, Boston Globe
November 27, 2019


The Federal Energy Regulator Commission granted Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC’s request to start the construction of the station, which is planned for a four-acre parcel on the banks of the Fore River. The station will be part of a larger Enbridge project that aims to distribute high pressure gas more than 1,000 miles, from New York to Maine and into the Canadian Maritimes.

Opponents have argued that the Weymouth site, located on a peninsula, is too small, too polluted, and too close to too many dangers to safely accommodate the compressor. The federal approval follows final state approval for the project earlier this month.

The project has been met with stiff opposition locally.

Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station, said in a statement that Wednesday’s development was “not unexpected” but it did come “over the objections of all of us, our federal delegation, our state legislators, the Town of Weymouth, our allies, and pretty much everyone you can think of except for Gov. (Charlie) Baker.”

» Read the full story

EVENTS
TUESDAY — DECEMBER 3, 2019 — AMHERST, MA




— Roundtable Discussion: historical perspectives on a Green New Deal
Free public event
5:30PM to 7:00PM
UMASS Amherst Integrative Learning Center,
Room S231
650 N Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA



TUESDAY — DECEMBER 3, 2019 — ONLINE
— Electric Vehicles 101 Webinar – Drive Green
Interested in learning more about electric vehicles (EVs)? Well look no further, we have the perfect webinar for you! Join us to learn the basics about electric cars, charging, financial incentives, environmental and public health benefits, our Drive Green program, and more!
Free public event. Hosted by Green Energy Consumers Alliance

7 PM – 8 PM
Online webinar
» Register for our webinar here
» Facebook event page


WEDNESDAY — DECEMBER 4, 2019 — ONLINE
— Webinar to learn about Brookline’s gas ban
As a climate advocate you have most likely heard the news by now that last week at town meeting Brookline passed a ban on natural gas hookups for new buildings. You may not know, however, how that ban came to be. We are enthused to invite you to a webinar on December 4th where you will get to hear from two of the co-petitioners.
The Brookline warrant article is really important because we all know:
    •    Climate change is the defining issue of our time
    •    Buildings are more than 50% of our emissions in MA
    •    All electric buildings are the path forward
    •    Communities are leading the way!
The good news is, you will get to learn about Brookline’s process from the folks who did it. You will get to hear how this warrant article came about, how and why it changed over time, what the process was, and what’s next.

Free public event. Hosted by MCAN, Toxics Action Center, and Pipe Line Awareness Network

7PM – 8PM Online
» RSVP here (required)    


THURSDAY — DECEMBER 5, 2019 — NORTH ADAMS, MA

Free and Open to the Public
» Information: 413.662.5224


MONDAY — DECEMBER 9, 2019 (RESCHEDULED AGAIN!) — ASHLAND, MA
— Conservation Commission Eversource Hearing
The Conservation Commission’s Eversource permit hearing has been rescheduled from Monday, November 25th to Monday, December 9th at 7 PM- Town Hall, 2nd floor. We will let you know if this date changes.

This is a very important hearing. The Conservation Commission has permitting authority with regard to wetlands and stormwater, and it’s possible that a vote will be taken at this meeting. Please make every effort to attend and share this information widely.
There is absolutely no way for Eversource to perform the construction and digging required by this project — which is estimated to take 5 years — without doing irreparable damage to wetland areas, wildlife habitats and Ashland State Park. Whether or not you speak or ask questions, your presence in opposition to this project is very important. We recommend you arrive early for seating. Those who wish can also write to the Conservation Commission (conservation@ashlandmass.com) to express your opposition.
Free public event. Hosted by No Ashland Pipeline

7 PM – 9 PM
Ashland Town Hall
101 Main Street, 2nd floor
Ashland, MA

» Facebook event page

• Many more events on the No Fracked Gas in Mass Events page



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