Spectra Misses Waterways Permit Deadline

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued Spectra (Enbridge) a conditional waterways permit last year but the permit was only good for one year. It has now been a year, so the Town of Weymouth has requested that the State throw out the conditional permit. 

"Town Solicitor Joseph Callanan said the town filed a motion for summary decision last week asking a state Department of Environmental Protection hearing officer to throw out the conditional permit, which the state granted last May for the 7,700-horsepower natural-gas compressor station Algonquin Gas Transmission wants to build on the banks of the Fore River. ...

The town later appealed the waterways permit, which is still pending. Callanan said that conditional permit was only good for one year.

“There were no exceptions, but it did have a stipulation that the natural gas company needed to request an extension at least 30 days before it expired,” he said.

Callanan said there is nothing in the conditional permit or state regulations that states that an ongoing appeal eliminates the gas company’s obligation to seek an extension 30 days in advance.

Callanan said the missed deadline is another example of how Spectra Energy-Enbridge is “fast and loose with the rules,” and fails to comply with basic guidelines and regulations.

“We can’t trust (the gas company) to comply with laws we do know about, so how can we trust them to follow laws only they have to follow, like safe operation of a pipeline?” he said.

Weymouth could appeal an unfavorable ruling by the hearing officer in U.S. District Court, according to Callanan.

“If the regulations say this is how it’s done and the hearing officer handles it in a way that’s not in the regulations or written into the license, it’s a great argument for error of law,” he said." (Jessica Trufant, The Patriot Ledger)

You can read the full article in the Patriot Ledger here