Today was a powerful day. A day full of hope, resistance, and creative action. Local residents and allies blocked the entrance to MassDEP in Boston to call on the agency to put an end to the Weymouth compressor station proposal by denying the remaining permits. Watch the livestream here.
For far too long, MassDEP and Governor Baker have put polluters and corporate money before the health of residents. Their disregard for the health and safety of communities all across the state is simply unacceptable.
After a 3-day air quality hearing in May of this year, MassDEP approved Enbridge's air quality permit. The presiding officer in the appeal hearing completely disregarded the scientific data and testimony given by our expert witnesses and instead chose to rely on unsubstantiated information provided by the project proponent, Enbridge. MassDEP served the Fore River community an injustice that day by allowing a polluter a free pass to exacerbate pollution levels in the Basin.
Dr. Nathan Phillips, a community ally and expert witness in the air quality appeal, returned to the building where the injustice occurred. He sat peacefully at the base of the escalator that leads to MassDEP's office, with banners that read: "Time To Escalate" and "Deny Enbridge Permits".
Dr. Nathan Phillips was arrested during this action. His charge of tresspassing was later dropped . We are grateful for Nathan's willingness to put his body on the line to protect the health and safety of the Fore River community, and to all of the community members who joined the action to call on DEP to deny the permits.
The final permits have not been issued, so MassDEP still has time to do the right thing. We call on MassDEP to protect the health of the people and the environment, not the pockets of polluters, by denying the remaining permits for the Weymouth compressor station. If Governor Baker can use a state law to ban vaping as a public health emergency that has sickened ten residents, Governor Baker and MassDEP can do the same to put an end to a 7700 HP public health emergency that will affect tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents. MassDEP should not stand for “Department of Enbridge Promotion,” but instead for “Deny Enbridge Permits.”
We will continue fight this dangerous proposal but we need support from everyone. Join us in putting an end to this dangerous proposal by signing our Pledge to Take Action: https://form.jotform.com/92804877168168.
News coverage of today's action:
The Patriot Ledger
State House News Service