Boston (April 6, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement today urging the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to close the Weymouth natural gas compressor station after the station’s third unplanned gas release since September 2020. This February, Senators Markey and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Representative Stephen Lynch (MA-08) wrote to the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) urging the expeditious approval of the rehearing request for the in-service certificate issued for the Weymouth compressor station. Last Friday, Senator Markey wrote to FERC in response to its request for a paper briefing on the rehearing request, urging FERC to rehear and rescind the in-service authorization for the station.

“This latest release—following two emergency releases last fall and an extended shutdown at the direction of our pipeline safety agency—is why this compressor station needs to be shut down immediately. It’s a threat to public safety, to environmental justice, and to the climate. It’s not needed for the community and puts our families and children at risk every day that it’s operational. That’s why I wrote a brief to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in support of a rehearing of this station. If all the facts are considered, there is no way that this station’s operation or siting is in the public interest. I will also be contacting the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to ask for their response to this latest release, and will urge that they close the station while they analyze the cause of these repeated station failures.”   

Following the second emergency shutdown of the station in October 2020 due to two unplanned gas releases, Canadian energy company Enbridge announced it would pause activities at the Weymouth site. In December 2020, against the urging of Senator Markey, PHMSA authorized Enbridge to restart operations.