FRRACS' Statement on Presiding Officer's AQ Decision

Dear Friend of FRRACS,

Betrayed. It is the only word that would come to our minds today just after 3:00 PM when our attorney, Mike Hayden, sent us the decision of Presiding Officer Jane Rothchild on the Air Quality Plan approval. Ms. Rothchild sided with the Enbridge, the polluter, and with the Department of Environmental Protection, the pollution enabler, and gave the green light for Commissioner Martin Suuberg to grant a final Air Quality Permit for the Weymouth compressor station.

If you are so inclined, you can read it here.

Why betrayed? Because we thought, for perhaps even a minute, that Ms. Rothchild would look far more critically at the evidence and testimony given by the Towns of Weymouth, Braintree, and HIngham, by the City of Quincy, by FRRACS, and the ten residents group of Hingham. Instead, she took the easy way out and dismissed all of our arguments offhandedly in favor of Enbridge's unsubstantiated claims. A practice that the DEP has been known to employ for decades.

Betrayed. Because Ms. Rothchild lives in the Commonwealth, too. As do most of the employees of the DEP. Yet, they determined that their fellow citizens were not worthy of the clean air, land, and water that they promise in their mission statement.

Betrayed. Because Ms. Rothchild asked for two additional weeks--taking us to July 12--to make a thoughtful decision. Instead, she gave the decision one day shy of the original deadline and did so late in the day.

Betrayed. Because Ms. Rothchild knows that we are coming into the biggest vacation week of the year, Governor Baker is in London discussing energy policy (we have to take a long break here to uncramp our eyes from the rolling they just did), and this is just the time that the media would typically be taking a little snooze, too.

Betrayed. Because the DEP broke the public trust by withholding evidence of high levels of cancer causing toxins in our neighborhoods, and now the Presiding Officer has made that final statement--they just do not care. Give them more toxins. Destroy their health. No problem.

In the biblical fight of David and Goliath, King Saul thought that Goliath was too big to fight. David though he was too big to miss. We agree with David. King Saul (Gov. Baker) lost his kingdom because he was weak and would not defend his people. The similarities are astounding, no matter your faith tradition.

Despair is not in our vocabulary. The air quality permit is still not granted. The Wetlands and Waterways decisions have not been granted. The fight has only just begun. Battles are lost, wars are won. And we are at war for our rights under Article 97 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to clean air, land, and water. We will cede these rights no longer.

Stay on alert for rallies and actions to come. Fight on, Fore River Campers. Fight on.

In Solidarity,