Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

November 2, 2016

Lynch urges halt to Spectra pipeline permitting

Federal regulators should halt permitting and construction of Spectra Energy pipelines in West Roxbury and Weymouth, according to Congressman Stephen Lynch of Boston, who cited safety concerns stemming from a fatal pipeline explosion in Alabama.

Lynch on Wednesday wrote a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Norman Bay asking for the agency to delay permitting on the projects until an investigation of the Colonial Pipeline explosion is concluded and safety measures are put in place. Lynch cited U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration claims that there have been more than 220 pipeline incidents in 2016, including the one this week that killed a worker and injured five others in Shelby County, Alabama.

In the wake of the accidents "it is unimaginable that FERC would proceed with approval for pipelines in more densely populated areas," the South Boston congressman said. In his letter, he said 1,000 households are within a half mile of a proposed natural gas compression station site in North Weymouth. He wrote, "If an explosion similar to that in Alabama were to occur at either of these sites, the death toll would be catastrophic."

Gov. Charlie Baker and others are pushing to expand capacity to bring more natural gas into Massachusetts, arguing it will be good for consumer prices and bolster the state's energy resources and reliability. Opponents of natural gas pipeline expansion say Massachusetts is already too reliant on natural gas and should instead more aggressively pursue renewable energy options, as well as energy efficiency and conservation.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF