Protest to Stop Construction of Compressor Station Leads to Arrests

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Dozens of residents of the South Shore of Massachusetts protested as construction began on a natural gas compressor station near the Fore River Bridge Thursday morning.

Four of the protesters, who blocked access to the work site, were arrested.

"This is a travesty; this never should have happened," said Betsy Sowers of Weymouth. "We're here to say that this is not acceptable, and we are in court, of course, trying to stop this project."

In 2014, the Canadian-based company Enbridge announced plans to build the compressor station.

The station, which received final federal approval in November, will push gas from Pennsylvania to Canada.

Critics of the project have expressed concerns over contaminants in the ground.

In January, a study commissioned by the state found cancer-causing chemicals in the soil near the work site, but claimed the toxins weren't harmful to anyone.

"It's about a company — a multinational company — coming into a town and bulldozing their way through using their money and their influence," said Ed Cowen of Weymouth.

Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station, the grassroots group that organized the protest, said it will continue to try to stop the project.

"We will continue to fight it," said Sowers.

Enbridge released a statement Thursday afternoon, calling the efforts to block access to its work site both "unlawful," and "unsafe."

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