Edward J. Markey

01/14/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/14/2022 14:58

Senator Markey Applauds FERC Announcement to Reconsider Weymouth Compressor Station Authorization

Facility has shut down four times due to unplanned gas releases and technical concerns since it began operations in 2020

Washington (January 14, 2022) - Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, released the following statement after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced it will reconsider the authorization of the Weymouth Compressor Station in Weymouth, Massachusetts. The facility has been plagued by unplanned gas releases and shutdowns since it began operating in 2020. Last April, Senator Markey wroteto FERC in response to its request for a paper briefing on the rehearing request, urging the Commission to rehear and rescind the station's in-service authorization.

"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," said Senator Markey. "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. This facility exports fossil gas for profit while importing new dangers to families in Weymouth and the surrounding area. 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 2021, Senators Markey and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representative Stephen Lynch (MA-08) wroteto FERC urging the expeditious approval of the rehearing request for the in-service certificate issued for the Weymouth compressor station.

Following the second emergency shutdown of the station in October 2020 due to two unplanned gas releases, Canadian energy company Enbridge announced it would pause activities at the Weymouth site. In December 2020, against the urging of Senator Markey, the federal government authorized Enbridge to restart operations. After the third unplanned gas release in April 2021, just days after Senator Markey visited the station, he again urged FERCto approve the rehearing request and called on PHSMA to immediately investigate the release and pause operation of the gas station. In May2021, the Weymouth Compressor Station was shut down for the fourth time in less than a year.

Last year,Senators Markey and Warren introduced the COMPRESSOR Act, which would block construction or operation 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.