The Boston Globe - "In Weymouth, echoes of Flint"

The Boston Globe covered our fight, detailing the health and safety impacts that the compressor station poses. Many thanks to Aimee Ortiz for giving this story a platform. You can read the full article here.

“WEYMOUTH — FOUR UNDEVELOPED ACRES on a peninsula in the northern part of this town have become a battlefield, pitting environmental activists against a massive energy company.

Area residents, backed by leading public health scientists and doctors, are standing up to Enbridge, a $126 billion Texas-based energy giant, trying to block the company from building a gas compressor station.

The site, opponents argue, is too small, too polluted, and too close to too many dangers to safely accommodate the compressor — especially in a state still reeling from the gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley last September, which killed an 18-year-old and destroyed several homes. …

Carcinogens like formaldehyde and benzene could be released into the air as a byproduct of the compressor station’s massive machinery.

That’s the last thing Weymouth residents need.

For decades, industries here have pumped contaminants into the air, soil, and water. A Proctor & Gamble plant turned the river into a bubbly stew. General Dynamics’s Fore River Shipyard reportedly spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of heating oil into the soil. Electric generating plants, one built by Boston Edison in 1925, no doubt introduced a broad range of pollutants.

When those businesses shuttered, residents lived among the toxins and heavy particles left behind. According to a 2018 Patriot Ledger article, they suspect it’s making them sick.

The epidemiology bears that out: The population in the Fore River Basin already has a high prevalence of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a type of lung disease that leads to scarring of the lungs. Children in the area have the highest rates of pediatric asthma in the Commonwealth — a condition associated with air pollution by the EPA. And the residents of Quincy, Braintree, and Weymouth have high hospital admissions rates for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, believed to be caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter.

Nearby are Quincy Point and Germantown — two low-income neighborhoods so plagued by pollution-related health issues that they were designated by the state as “environmental justice” areas, and per state policy, should receive special protections.

State officials acknowledge that on certain days, formaldehyde and benzene levels exceed standards set by the Department of Environment Protection, but also claim that the compressor station’s emissions would comply with all existing standards and guidelines.”