The MTA Board of Directors has voted to encourage members to join the fight to keep a natural gas compressor station from being built in a residential-industrial area of Weymouth.
At its meeting on Dec. 7, the Board adopted the following New Business Item: “The MTA will stand in solidarity with Massachusetts residents who are fighting to keep a toxic natural gas compressor station from being built in a residential-industrial area of Weymouth. The MTA will show its solidarity by helping to publicize this fight in existing media channels, encouraging members to get involved, and donating $1,000 to the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) legal defense fund.”
Residents of Weymouth and other South Shore communities – along with groups concerned about climate change, environmental justice and public health and safety – have been fighting the compressor station for five years.
The project would connect two existing pipelines in order to move fracked gas from New Jersey through Massachusetts and into Canada, where it would be exported to international markets.
Opponents of the project point out that the compressor station expands the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and that the station will emit methane, which actively contributes to climate change. They have also raised safety concerns about the plant, which would be located less than a mile from area elementary schools and within 1.5 miles of housing for elderly people, nursing homes and a mental health facility. The site is adjacent to the Fore River Bridge, which is critical to emergency response in the area.
In addition, Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility has predicted that the compressor station is likely to increase health threats for area residents, who already suffer from higher than average rates of cancer, childhood asthma, and heart and respiratory diseases.
In November, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a notice to proceed on the project, but opposition continues.