Call comes as Enbridge, Inc. prepares to operationalize the compressor station on October 1, 2020
Washington (September 30, 2020) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today wrote to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), urging the Administration to halt activities at the Weymouth compressor station and investigate the station’s safety following an equipment failure and emergency shutdown earlier this month. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has already approved the request of Enbridge’s subsidiary, Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC, to place the Weymouth compressor station into service so that it can commence operations by October 1, 2020. In today’s letter, Senators Markey and Warren implore PHMSA to suspend activities at the station and conduct an investigation into the recent unplanned gas release.
“An emergency leak is unacceptable, and we ask that you fulfill your responsibility and conduct an investigation into this issue to protect public safety,” write the Senators. “Instead of allowing Enbridge to operationalize the Weymouth compression station by October 1, 2020—so soon after an emergency shutdown and gas leak—PHMSA should ensure that the health and safety of site workers and the Fore River community are protected.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
Today’s letter follow a series of actions taken by Senators Markey and Warren to urge responsible entities to shut down the Weymouth compressor station. In July, Senator Markey and Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to MassDEP, urging the Department to require that Algonquin Gas Transmission immediately halt ongoing venting of natural gas at the meter stations located at the Calpine Fore River Energy Center site and the Weymouth compressor station. The Senators wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in July to request that the Commission rescind the notice to proceed on construction of the compressor station, due to the lack of complete permits. In April, Senators Warren and Markey wrote to Enbridge, Inc. calling for public health and safety protections at the Weymouth compressor construction site as they continued construction during the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, Senators Warren and Markey introduced legislation that would block construction of any compressor station built as part of a pipeline project to export natural gas – as the Weymouth station would, with plans to export natural gas to Canada. The Senators, along with Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), also sent a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of Enbridge, Inc. expressing serious concerns about the company’s proposal to construct the compressor station in Weymouth.