Commissioner Suuberg adopts approval of the air quality permit

DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg announced today that he will adopt the Presiding Officer's recommendation to approve the AQ permit. The petitioners (this includes FRRACS) will have seven days to file for a reconsideration. Our statement on this matter is available below.

The fight continues, folks. We won't stop until the project is dead.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 12, 2019

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DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg gives Enbridge the green light to emit carcinogenic pollution into the Fore River Basin

Weymouth, Mass. (July 12, 2019) - Commissioner Martin Suuberg of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that he will adopt the Presiding Officer's recommendation for approval of the air quality permit for the Weymouth compressor station. The petitioners will have seven days to file for a reconsideration. The Commissioner’s decision to ignore existing air quality data and to allow further pollution in the Fore River Basin will cause direct harm to the Fore River Community if the entire project is approved. The Commissioner and the Department itself could have prevented the exacerbation of pollution in the Basin but chose instead to grant additional polluting powers to Enbridge. 

By accepting Presiding Officer Jane Rothchild’s recommendation for a permit approval, Commissioner Suuberg accepted the faulty conclusions Rothchild drew from the testimony provided in the appeals.  Rothchild concluded that the testimony of highly discredited gun-for-hire Peter Valberg, a toxicologist for the rented white coat organization Gradient, was more compelling than that of Dr. Philip Landrigan, one of the world’s leading authorities on public health and founding director of Boston College’s Global Public Health Initiative. Peter Valberg is known for his work defending the tobacco industry against claims that their products cause cancer and for attempting to connect mesothelioma to smoking in an asbestos case.

Rothchild also accepted Enbridge’s unsubstantiated conclusion that the installation of an electric compressor turbine as opposed to a gas-fired turbine would simply be too expensive for the multibillion-dollar company to afford, even though the Town of Weymouth proved that the electric turbine would not have the constant methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) leakage that the gas-fired turbine would have. Rothchild and Suuberg have failed to consider the environment or the public's health in their decisions. 

By granting this permit, Commissioner Suuberg also upholds the department’s refusal to issue sanctions against the DEP’s attorneys Dingle and Fallon for withholding evidence from the petitioners. This unethical behaviour makes it clear to any future petitioners seeking relief from this agency that proper and fair legal procedures will not be considered a mandatory part of the DEP’s practices. In fact, Rothchild stated that the appeals procedure had been “unfair” to the petitioners.  

The Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) call on Governor Charlie Baker to, at long last, take the moral stand, enforce the regulations, and stop any further permitting of this dangerous and toxic facility next to our neighborhoods and next to our beautiful King’s Cove Park. We call on Governor Baker to serve the interests of the citizens of the Commonwealth and not the interests of a multibillion-dollar foreign corporation.