Boston (November 2, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after utility companies National Grid and Eversource said that they don't need the proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth to meet customer demand. A subsidiary of Enbridge, Canada’s largest pipeline operator, is proposing to build and operate a natural gas compressor station in Weymouth, Massachusetts as part of its Atlantic Bridge gas project, which is intended to send natural gas through Massachusetts and export it out to Canada.
“Community advocates have been saying all along that the Weymouth compressor station isn’t going to help Massachusetts consumers—it only helps those in Canada and abroad,” said Senator Markey. “Now, National Grid and Eversource are admitting the same thing. Federal regulators are supposed to gauge whether projects will fill a public need when approving energy facilities. It’s clear that the Weymouth compressor is unneeded, unwanted, and unwelcome in Massachusetts, and should be rejected.”
Last month, Senators Markey and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced legislation that would block construction of any compressor station that would be built as part of a pipeline project mean to export natural gas overseas. The Community Outreach, Maintenance, and Preservation by Restricting Export Stations from Subverting Our Regulations (COMPRESSOR) Act would prohibit construction of any natural gas compressor station, such as the proposed facility in Weymouth, if it is part of a project that would lead to the export of natural gas or facilitate the export of natural gas, as determined by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Weymouth, Massachusetts is densely populated, with 3,100 people per square mile. The proposed site for the new gas compressor, which FERC approved in 2017, is within a half-mile of more than 960 homes and 38 educational facilities, and approximately 3,100 children live within one mile, and 13,200 go to school within three miles of the proposed site.