A recent leak at Spectra Energy’s Weymouth, MA, gas metering station and Spectra’s lack of awareness raise new concerns about plans to build a powerful natural gas compressor station nearby, according to a recent article by the Patriot Ledger.
The Weymouth, MA, Fire Department started receiving calls about an odor of natural gas near the Fore River Bridge around 7:30 p.m. on January 6. Officials notified Spectra subsidiary Algonquin Gas Transmission, which sent out a representative who stopped the leak at approximately 9:45 p.m.
Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund said the incident highlights concerns regarding Algonquin Gas Transmission's proposal to build a 7,700-horsepower compressor station on the banks of the Fore River. The proposal is part of the Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge project, which would expand the Houston company’s pipelines from New Jersey into Canada.
“The main issues are the effects of the discharge, the response time to fix the issue and general security down there,” Hedlund said.
Town Councilor Becky Haugh, who lives near the metering station, said there was a strong smell of natural gas up until at least 9:30 p.m. Friday. “It was really strong. When you went outside, it smelled almost like when you leave the gas on the stove on,” she said.
On Saturday, Congressman Stephen Lynch, a South Boston Democrat and opponent of the proposed compressor station, and Haugh visited the site of the leak. Lynch said he also spoke with Spectra representatives and requested a full report on the leak, which he called “yet another reason why Spectra should not be allowed to go forward with the proposed compressor station.”
“Hedlund and Haugh both said Spectra representatives have said several times during public hearings that they monitor equipment remotely, though Friday’s leak raises questions about those capabilities,” the article states. “The proposed compressor station would not regularly have any staff on site, leaving the public to report any potential issues should the company not receive a notification.”
“Accidents happen, but I was surprised that Spectra wasn’t aware of the leak before the public started calling the fire department,” Haugh told the Patriot Ledger. “I would think an alarm would be going off, so it’s concerning even just having the metering station there.”
To read the Patriot Ledger article, click here.
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