Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility respond to HIA

Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility (GBPSR) released their response to the Health Impact Assessment. We thank them for using their voice and expertise to bring attention to this concerning proposal, and for highlighting issues within the HIA report. Members of GBPSR also attended the Mothers Out Front action on Thursday.

You can access the full report here.

“In this report, Greater Boston PSR details our grave concerns about the health impact and emergency response hazards of a natural gas compressor station that Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (a subsidiary of Spectra Energy) proposes to construct in Weymouth, Massachusetts, in the Fore River Basin. We also specifically reject the conclusion of the January 2019 health impact assessment (HIA) released by the administration of Governor Charlie Baker, which claims that the proposed compressor station will have ‘no health impact.’

The members of Greater Boston PSR who authored this report are experts in public health, cancer epidemiology, occupational medicine, environmental health, emergency medicine, disaster preparedness, and the health effects of climate change.

Our conclusions are as follows:

● The Weymouth site is too densely populated for a high-pressure compressor station that processes highly flammable gas. Compressor stations are almost never sited in densely populated, coastal areas like Weymouth. Residents living nearby, particularly children, the elderly and the disabled, could not be safely evacuated in the event of an emergency.

● The health impact assessment shows that residents of the Fore RIver Basin are already burdened with excess rates of lung disease, heart disease and cancer. These people -- nearly half of whom are considered an ‘environmental justice’ population as defined by the Baker administration1 -- require greater, not lesser, environmental safeguards to protect their health.

● The health impact assessment shows that residents of the Fore River Basin are already burdened with elevated levels of hazardous air pollutants. These air pollutants are associated with human diseases, including cancer. Hazardous air pollutants will increase further with the construction of the proposed compressor station. Residents of the Fore River Basin deserve cleaner air, not more polluted air.” (GBPSR)