Opponents of Natural Gas Compressor Station Criticize Study

Several opponents of a controversial proposal to build a natural gas compressor station near the Fore River Bridge in Weymouth, Massachusetts, said a newly released study into potential health impacts doesn't make sense.

The study, which was commissioned by the state, sampled air in the Fore River basin and found elevated levels of the carcinogens benzene and formaldehyde. The study, however, concluded that the proposed station wouldn't pose any health risks.

The report prompted Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund to send a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker, asking him to stop the state from granting an air quality permit, one of several required.

"The little people don't have much say," said Hedlund. "Here's another example where he can be responsible to the citizens that elected him to serve them."

Jennifer Mathien, who lives in nearby Hingham, also opposes the project.

"This proposal would surely affect my family," she said. "We are a family that has asthma, and vulnerable populations are more prone to the negative effects of air pollution."

In 2014, Canadian-based energy company Enbridge announced plans to develop a compressor station in a field near the Fore River Bridge.

The move was met with public backlash, and spurred a protracted legal battle. Thus far, the Town of Weymouth has spent nearly $750,000 in attorneys' fees.

Enbridge said it's satisfied with the results of the study.

The governor's office wouldn't comment.

The deadline for state regulators to decide whether to issue an air quality permit is Jan. 11.

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