FRRACS (Fore River Residents Against Compressor Station), a community-based group for residents of Weymouth, Quincy, and Braintree, is asking the general public to submit comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) using their online comment portal, urging them to approve their request for a rehearing on their decision to approve Enbridge’s certificate of operation.
In September of 2020, Enbridge approved Algonquin’s (Enbridge) certificate of operation, which allowed Enbridge to place the compressor station into operation. In response, FRRACS filed a request for a rehearing on the issuance of the in-service certificate to Algonquin (Enbridge) with FERC. The request was denied in November 2020. On a separate, but important note, the compressor station has been off since the beginning of October after 2 system failures led to a stay of operation while a federal investigation is being done.
On January 19, 2021, the FERC Commissioners met during a virtual open meeting (click here for an audio recording). During the meeting, three of the five Commissioners rejected the denial of FRRACS’ rehearing request that was issued in November of 2020. While this was good on one hand, it leaves us in legal limbo once again. With no denial, we cannot move to take FERC into the Federal Court of Appeals. With no approval, FERC will not review our request to rescind the certificate of in-service operation. We need folks to write to FERC, asking them to approve our request for a rehearing.
Please send a comment to FERC. Click here for instructions on how to submit a comment.
- Commissioners Chatterjee, Glick, and Clements rejected the denial of the rehearing request based on lack of review of Environmental Justice issues, safety, climate, and COVID. FERC has never taken any of these issues into consideration. FERC should issue an approval in order to perform a fair assessment of the need for Algonquin (Enbridge) to operate.
- FERC should approve our rehearing request in light of the two emergency shutdowns at the compressor station prior to its operation.
- FERC should consider all safety issues brought to light by the accidents. The independent contractor, DNV GL, was not independent and has a deep and long-term relationship with Enbridge. Enbridge successfully had investigation of corrosion of the I-10 pipeline (Weymouth to Boston) removed from consideration from the original Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration corrective action order. Enbridge used the hacked Solar Winds security for their pipeline operations, thus elevating the possibility of the second accident being a cyber-attack.
- FERC should approve our rehearing request because they have left us the same as if they had issued a tolling order. (A tolling order is when FERC does not issue a denial or an approval, but just says it needs more time to think about the request. FERC lost a court case recently when the court told them that they had to stop issuing tolling orders.)
- FERC should approve our rehearing request based on the lack of need for the gas due to Algonquin’s loss of contracts for the gas and National Grid’s statement that they do not need the Weymouth compressor station in order to fulfill customer needs domestically. While Algonquin’s customers may be inconvenienced by Enbridge’s failure to start the station safely, we are not aware of any meaningful impairment in the ability of gas customers to receive gas deliveries thus far into the winter heating season.
- We respectfully ask that our request be part of the agenda at the next FERC meeting on February 18.