This Compressor Station would add an economic burden to communities of the South Shore, and for minimal direct benefit.
Decreased Property Values
If a Compressor Station were to be built in North Weymouth, it is likely that we will see deleterious impacts on the value of homes. The seminal study on the impacts of "undesirable facilities" in the journal Ecological Economics puts it simply:
"Undesirable land uses are expected to impose health or amenity risks on surrounding communities. These risks are expected to be translated economically into negative effects on adjacent property values."
Those living near the site of the proposed compressor station would likely see a decrease in their property value. Homeowners living near a compressor station in NY saw a 25-50% decrease in property value assessment. Property value can also be impacted by various other factors imposed by compressor stations: noise emitted from the compressor station, safety risks, and health impacts.
Furthermore, the authors of these past studies have stated that these impacts are mitigated by the characteristic rural and removed locations of these Compressors on parcels of land much larger than the proposed North Weymouth location.
A lawsuit in Texas found that the Compressor Station in Lamar County created a "permanent nuisance" due to the noise, odor, and lights emitted by the facility.
Myth: Property Values Won't Be Affected
At recent public presentations, Spectra has responded to concerns about decreased property values by referencing past studies (paid for by the pipeline companies themselves) that showed no measurable decrease. That simply violates common sense, and most studies are related to pipelines (which are comparatively innocuous to belching Compressor Stations).
In fact, there is simply no precedent for a project like this, because they've never built a Compressor in such a densely populated area before – which their own studies confirm!
Below is an excerpt is from an appraiser's cover letter for a report prepared for National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation, in reference to 7 Compressor Stations in New York state:
"I believe that these conclusions are evident, in part, due to the following:
- These compressor stations are constructed on large parcels of land and are usually set-back well off the road.
- Both natural buffers (trees and hills) and constructed buffers (trees, shrubs, and berms) are utilized as barriers for noise and view.
- These compressor stations are located in generally remote, rural areas removed from high density development."
Lower Tax Base = Less Budget For Weymouth's Already Underfunded Schools and Services
The larger impact of decreased property values is less tax revenue for the Town of Weymouth, at a time where budgetary restraints are already impacting our schools and town departments.
The "Jobs" Argument
Spectra claims that building a compressor station will create jobs. And they're right, temporary construction jobs will be created, but they won't all go to local labor. There is potentially one full-time job for someone to monitor the station during the workday. All other monitoring would be done remotely from Texas.
Furthermore, the alternative locations considered by Spectra would actually generate more construction jobs than the Weymouth location. It's a common argument, and we're not buying it.
Taxing Ratepayers To Fund This New Infrastructure?
Governor Baker and the Mass DPU will be looking for your wallet to pay for the as yet unbuilt and unnecessary pipelines and compressors of Kinder Morgan and Spectra. Gov. Baker’s DPU wants every Massachusetts ratepayer to cover the cost of building these pipelines – by instating a pipeline tax.
Remember when Governor Baker campaigned on the promise of “no new taxes”? Well, it appears that he is allowing this one to slide under the carpet. It is unprecedented for a rate increase to be established prior to a build-out.
Read the recent media coverage of Massachusetts Politicians opposing the tariff: