Markey says FERC rethinking Weymouth Compressor

Senator offers no additional details; agency's plan unclear

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

FEDERAL ENERGY regulators will reconsider their approval for the controversial natural gas compressor station in Weymouth less than a year and a half after they gave it the OK to go into service, US Sen. Ed Markey said Friday.

Other than saying that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission “announced it will reconsider the authorization of the Weymouth Compressor Station,” Markey’s office did not provide any details. But the docket numbers associated with the Algonquin Gas Transmission and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline-owned compressor station are listed on the agenda for unspecified action at a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission meeting planned for Thursday.

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“The Weymouth compressor station is a clear threat to our communities and the environment and does nothing to address energy reliability in Massachusetts. I am pleased that FERC has finally heeded my repeated calls to revisit the unwarranted approval of this dangerous project,” Markey said in a statement. “Local community members and environmental justice advocates have long opposed this project, and its repeated emergency gas releases and shutdowns have only given credence to their concerns … I look forward to continuing to work with the Weymouth community and the dedicated activists to ensure that FERC does the right thing and finally shuts this project down for good.”

In February, FERC said that it would reexamine the Weymouth compressor station in light of two emergency shutdowns at the facility in the fall of 2020. FERC authorized the facility to go into service in September 2020 and “received numerous pleadings expressing concerns about public safety and air emissions impacts from the station’s continued operation” over the next few months, the agency said last year.

The facility has for years drawn sharp opposition from state lawmakers, environmental and health activists, and groups of local residents. It received all necessary permits from the Baker administration and from federal officials.