Feds OK controversial gas compressor in Weymouth

The Boston Globe | By Michael Levenson and Travis Andersen
January 26, 2017

Federal energy regulators on Wednesday approved a proposed natural gas compressor station in Weymouth, despite the vehement objections of residents, local officials and members of the congressional delegation, who warn it will jeopardize the town’s health and safety.

The permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission represents a major milestone for the 7,700-horsepower station, which would be built at the foot of the Fore River Bridge and help push natural gas from Pennsylvania into Maine and Canada.

But local officials have said the Houston-based Spectra Energy still cannot build the project until it gets the necessary environmental permits from the Baker administration, including state permits related to clean air, clean water, and coastal zone protections.

Mayor Robert L. Hedlund said Wednesday night that the city’s bid to kill the project is far from over.

“We’re disappointed, but [the ruling] wasn’t unexpected,” he said. “The track record of FERC is that they have been pro-industry, and they have been throughout their existence.”

He said the town plans to appeal FERC’s ruling to the agency itself and, if denied, may then file a federal lawsuit to stop the project. The town also hopes to deny Spectra the necessary state environmental permits.

“The community consensus is that we don’t want it,” Hedlund said.

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