Take Action: Send Comments to FERC about the Environmental Assessment (EA)

Don't Let Spectra Skirt a Full Environmental Review!

We are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and our elected officials to demand that Spectra Energy be held to the existing environmental policy standards for the proposed Compressor Station as part of Atlantic Bridge (AB).

Given that the Compressor is a "new aboveground facility near population centers," by FERC's own policies (Download FERC doc Here, excerpt below) it should require a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The proposed Weymouth compressor would be built on the smallest parcel and in the most densely populated area of any Compressor Station in the country! This is an unprecedentedly high-impact project.

So why are we only receiving a cursory environmental review which would allow this compressor to be built without studying the impacts on human health and the environment? 

How to File A Comment With FERC:

It is critically important that we submit comments to FERC during the 30-day public comment period for the Environmental Assessment! It's not the easiest online system, so please refer to this guide for a step-by-step process.

The most pressing comments are for the Atlantic Bridge project (FERC Docket #CP16-9).

1. FERC: Please Hold Spectra to Your Published Standards:

Category I: This category includes projects that require an environmental impact statement (e.g., projects comprised of large diameter pipelines in new rights- of-way and/or with new aboveground facilities near population centers). These projects often are more likely to be controversial based on substantial stakeholder concern about the project location or effects. An effective stakeholder outreach program for a Category I project will consider all or most of the tools described in this document.
— FERC: "Industry Outreach Programs to Stakeholders", July 2015.

2. Environmental Assessment IS NOT THE SAME AS AN Environmental Impact Statement

On May 2nd Spectra released an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Atlantic Bridge (AB) project. An EA is significantly less stringent than an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Here is how another Federal agency defines the two:

The purpose of an EA is to determine if there will be significant effects resulting from a Federal action. The purpose of an EIS is to analyze and disclose the significant effects resulting from a Federal action. An EA is typically a shorter document than an EIS, and its preparation offers fewer opportunities for public comment or involvement than an EIS. EAs have fewer procedural requirements and therefore take less time to prepare on average than an EIS.
— U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Spectra's 2015 flyer stating that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would be issued in March 2016. 

3. It's What We Were Promised by Spectra!

A full EIS is what the citizens of the South Shore deserve, it's what is required by FERC, and it is what Spectra originally promised! Spectra's own public documents distributed to South Shore stakeholders back in 2015 assured us that an Environmental Impact Statement would be completed.

The misrepresentation of Atlantic Bridge and Access Northeast has got to stop! 

Draft Comment Language:

Submit here.

Docket Number: CP16-9

I am writing in strong opposition to the proposed Compressor Station to be built in Weymouth, Massachusetts as part of the “Atlantic Bridge” project (FERC Docket# CP16-9), and subsequently expanded under Spectra’s “Access Northeast” project (FERC Docket ‪#‎PF16‬-1).

I ask that FERC consider both projects concurrently as they pertain to the Compressor Station proposed in Weymouth, and that a full environmental review be completed before any phase of the project is approved.

An Environmental Assessment is insufficient review of a facility that poses such a substantial impact on our community. A Compressor Station has never been built in a comparably dense residential area as is proposed in Weymouth. Instead of the typical 50+ acre parcel in rural locations, the Weymouth site is a 16-acre parcel adjacent to dense residential neighborhoods with over 960 landowners within ½ mile, and more than 3000 children within 1-mile.

A proposal of this high-risk and potential-impact should mandate a full and comprehensive review of human health and environmental impacts. In keeping with FERC’s own guidelines, a “new aboveground facility near population centers” is a Category 1 project requiring an Environmental Impact Statement as part of stakeholder outreach. The applicant (Algonquin/Spectra Energy) initially told the community that an EIS was planned.

Furthermore, with the expansion of the as-yet- unapproved Compressor Station already planned under Spectra’s Access Northeast project, this is the only opportunity for the new facility to be fully reviewed.

Who To "Cc:" On Your Comments

It's important that we continue to inform our local, state, and federal elected officials. Given that FERC is a Federal agency, we're asking our Federal representatives (Sen. Markey, Sen. Warren, Rep. Lynch) to hold FERC accountable to their established policies on comprehensive environmental assessment and anti-segmentation. 

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren

U.S. Senator Ed Markey

U.S. Congressman Stephen Lynch

Mass. Governor Charlie Baker

Mass. Attorney General Maura Healey