ACTION ITEM: DEP Ignored AQ Data - Contact the OIG to file a complaint

We need your help. MassDEP withheld data that showed elevated levels of carcinogens and other toxic chemicals in the Basin. Call or Email the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General to file a complaint.

More details on this matter and sample talking points have been provided below by Nathan Phillips. (Thank you, Nathan!)

The Mass Dept of Environmental Protection:

  • used public funds for lab air quality tests that showed elevated carcinogen levels;

  • withheld data from the public, and didn’t act on the data for the public interest;

  • falsely stated that it didn’t have time to use/act on the data,

  • Testified (May 7, Glenn Keith) it never even intended to use the data.

  • Ignored its own carcinogen data in publishing a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) and issued an air quality permit for Enbridge Corp. to build the Weymouth Compressor Station using the HIA as grounds.

Call or write the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General to report this waste of public funds. To provide details and information about suspected public fraud, waste or abuse, call the Fraud Hotline at (800) 322-1323 or email More info:

You can read more about this story here and here. Many thanks to Itai Vardi for uncovering the DEP’s secrecy.

Sample email and talking points below:


Dear Massachusetts Inspector General,

In 2018, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) used taxpayer money to contract for air quality tests by the Rhode Island Department of Public Health air lab. The results returned showed elevated levels of carcinogens including 1,3-Butadiene and Acrolein, and were returned to the DEP on December 26, 2018, ten days prior to its publication of a Health Impact Assessment and its subsequent award of an air permit to Enbridge for the proposed Weymouth Compressor Station. Yet, the DEP did not disclose these data to the public and there is no evidence the data were used as part of the consideration in issuing the air quality permit. Moreover, a spokesperson for the DEP falsely claimed that it had not received the test results in time to act on them. Further details are provided in the recent investigative report below.

Because public funds were used for air testing that was not made public nor was apparently considered for the purpose in which public funds were spent, I am reporting this to your office as a suspected waste of taxpayer money.

I here request an investigation by your office to determine:

  • how much taxpayer money was used for the Rhode Island lab air quality tests.

  • why the concerning data on carcinogens has not been made available to the public.

  • what role, if any, consideration of the Rhode Island lab results played in the decision to grant the air permit to Enbridge.

  • which DEP personnel were made aware of the elevated levels of carcinogens returned by the Rhode Island lab, and to whom within and outside of the DEP these results were communicated.

Thank you for your attention to this.

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