Some nice guests from Hingham joined me today, Kathy and Peter S. They found out about this action via South Shore Action. I talked their ear off about the Weymouth compressor proposal, and thank goodness they had a lot of questions. I tasked them with going back to Hingham and telling more friends and neighbors about the effects the proposed compressors would have on Hingham’s quality of life. They left a note to Gov. Baker and I forgot to ask what they wrote about. Great visit!
Mary from State Rep. Murphy‘s office stopped by to support #SitWithAndrea. Mary and Rep. Murphy, the support means a lot!
Today I left a personal letter, asking for what I (we all) want Governor Baker to do regarding Spectra’s Weymouth proposal. I’m going to post that here and under the Dear Gov. Baker page. I also included a news story that featured an action he took that I really appreciate. It’s important to me that his office knows when a constituent is happy as well as scared/worried/upset.
Dear Gov. Baker-
Here we are at day 14—two weeks! I have to say, your staff has been very welcoming and kind to me, I really appreciate it.
I’ve had a few people ask “what do you want, specifically?”, and they are right to ask. I haven’t made it crystal clear as of yet. Well, I’m fixing that today. I know the status of the Spectra proposal changes, sometimes in goal-shifting manner, (like the tolling order expected from FERC by the end of the week)… but as of right now:
- Please ask for Attorney General Maura Healey’s assistance with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issues in Sandisfield, Weymouth, Rehoboth, and Acushnet. Please support AG Healey’s efforts to uphold our constitution under EEA Article 97 Land Disposition Policy.
- Please direct the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to be more aggressive in getting Massachusetts to the goals set by The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 (GWSA) as these two agencies are beholden by law to meet “reductions from all sectors of the economy to reach a target of a 25% reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2020 and an 80% reduction by 2050.” In May 2016, the MA Supreme Judicial Court upheld the GWSA and said that you and your administration had to work to get the state to adhere to the 2020 and 2050 goals. To meet these goals set by law, you must direct the EEA and MassDEP to enforce the regulations we have and direct them on the policy level to make new regulations to get us where we are supposed to be by those dates. Please do so, thanks!
- Please direct the course with the EEA towards a strict review of the Spectra Energy proposal in Weymouth. You could have (should have, if you ask me) directed the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) to file for a rehearing with FERC. But, since didn’t happen, please direct the EEA and MassDEP to take an incredibly close look at Spectra’s Weymouth proposal, specifically the Chapter 91 permitting as it pertains to Waterways and Wetlands.
- Please, comment on the FERC docket (CP16-9-000) regarding the Atlantic Bridge Weymouth compressor proposal: ask questions, or express concerns that reflect the any one of the six concerns EFSB had with the project (found in their Dec 2015 letter to FERC).
- Please comment on the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) docket. CZM is still taking comments during the stay even though the comment period is closed. If you—your administration—commented, it would hold a lot of weight. You cannot can’t tell them what to do, but you can sway them as Governor. Please seriously consider taking this action: Spectra’s Weymouth compressor proposal is not water-dependent and does not conform to CZM policies.
One other thing:
Please involve the fisheries and marine departments to look at the Herring runs, which originate right in the area the compressor is proposed. The state and the towns are putting substantial resources into the daylighting of the smelt run, taking down dams, and literally revamping the runs to benefit of fish (the presence of these fish have been historically important since 1648). Weymouth has the largest run in the state and upholds the fishing industry from Boston to the Cape. Vibrations, like what the compressor(s) will produce every day, have deleterious effects on marine life.
- The amount of gas in the new pipelines is much more than we need. Most of it would be exported, so we would pay for new pipelines and suffer the consequences of leaking methane while the utilities make a profit. We can manage without more gas. The pipelines are being built to cover peak demand times of only hours every year. The Attorney General’s report shows we can reduce and manage demand with conservation and efficiency. We don’t need new pipelines.
- December 2016, Boston passed an ordinance that put additional requirements on gas companies when they perform gas leak repairs in Boston. Boston’s ordinance will be an example for action by other municipalities in 2017.
- The Department of Public Utilities (DPU), which regulates the gas distributors and sets the rules for leak identification and repair, has issued draft regulations that address the classification and repair timeframes for both leaks that present safety concerns and leaks that have significant environmental impact. They are expected to publish the final regulations later this year (2017).
- MassDEP published draft regulations that put limits on methane emissions from leaking natural gas infrastructure. They are also expected to publish final regulations later this year.
On my way back to work, I passed by roadwork I’d passed by many times but I didn’t know what they were doing exactly. Turns out it’s a gas line. I hope it’s a gas line that was replaced due to old age and leaks 😉