Day #92

Super quiet day today. So quiet that the motion sensing light turned off while I was sitting there. zzzzzzzz

Oh! right, yes, I brought a letter today about an October 2018 meeting that is NOT getting the kind of attention it deserves.

Dear Governor Baker-

Good afternoon.

I see that you have strong empathetic feelings for Law Enforcement, Military families, Veterans, First Responders in general, as I do. If it wasn’t for those who put on the badge/uniform it would be chaos.

Our mutual concern, empathy and respect for our First Responders got me thinking of a question I would like to ask you: would you trust our First Responders to tell you the truth about the dangers of siting a gas transmission compressor at the foot of the Fore River Bridge?

I feel like our First Responders have a really good handle on the everyday safety concerns and conditions in the Fore River Basin, and would be the best barometers of location appropriateness for any potentially explosive infrastructure.

It turns out there was just such a conversation between the Local Emergency Planning Committee Members of Weymouth, Quincy, Braintree, and Hingham on Oct. 2 2018 as well as (former) Undersecretary of Homeland Security McMurray, MEMA, State Fire Chief, SSH Hospital & Milton Hospital emergency response. You can view that meeting here: bit.ly/LEPCmeeting or check out the PDf of the presentation below.

If you are unable to watch this meeting, here are some takeaways from the attendees:

  • No way to protect citizens
  • Very long term recovery process if anything happened
  • Site is high-risk/hazardous area as it is
  • Does Homeland Security realize what kind of target this compressor would be
  • “Where would we get our support from” if Bridge is out?
  • Huge amount of existing chemicals in area, what would happen if explosion released all that?
  • What’d happen if there’s an explosion? It’d be “a big problem” for law enforcement & **shipping** – largest shipping port other than Boston. Evacuation would have to be done by water, if they could get close enough. “If it’s dangerous, I don’t want it”
  • Weymouth Harbor Master said he can ask Coast Guard Captain of the port about his opinion. He is sure that “he has his concerns” about it as well. HM repeats that loss of shipping would be a “major major” problem.
  • Health Dept: Other health concerns as well due to regular operation. Too many residents, too many dangerous facilities nearby. Let the Gov know this is not the right site. 
  • Hingham: this site is truly isolated and delay caused by incapacitation of the bridge will cost time. Mutual aid: current staffing & training would make it very hard to respond to an incident. “Big Big Problem”
  • Quincy Police Marine Unit: Echoes all concerns expressed. Bridge is a HUGE concern. Braintree: same/same as what has been said before
  • A motion is made to have a rep from Enbridge come down and make a presentation about emergency response (ENBRIDGE HAS NOT PROVIDED A PLAN)
  • McMurray: this’d be another site security would have to worry about. LT gov has asked him “where are we vulnerable?” Too many ways to begin to answer her. Must have facts because “we’re going against a pretty powerful gas co” 
  • So many issues with this siting that have NOT been vetted yet and must.

PLEASE NOTE:

Former Undersecretary McMurray had promised to follow through after this meeting. He said he would contact the Protective Security Advisors (PSA) so they can get in touch with surrounding industry & make a report to evaluate risk. He said it’s good we are still so early in the process that we can get these evaluations. Now he’s gone.

Who is the new Undersecretary of Homeland Security?

When will the issues brought up in this meeting be taken seriously?

I hope your reverence for First Responders applies to their professional opinions about the inherent dangers due to design, proximity, and exact siting of proposed compressor.

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