May 27, 2018

Enbridge/Spectra’s Access Northeast may be withdrawn- but they have made it abundantly clear- THEY WILL BE BACK!


While Enbridge has hit the PAUSE button, CARCS will be expanding upon the work and the outreach we have been doing since April 2016, and continue to advocate for clean air and a safe and healthy environment for our community, including improved pipeline safety protocols when leaks do occur. It is important to note, as Rehoboth is host to miles and miles of gas transmission lines, we continue to remain extremely vulnerable to future build outs.

Meanwhile, embattled Weymouth is still embroiled in their 2-year fight against a compressor station under the Atlantic Bridge project (which has been approved). Enbridge/ Spectra’s compressor station project (sited on a 4-acre parcel) if successful, would be the first step toward a second (phase 2) Weymouth compressor station, (which would part of our compressor station project should they move forward here). Were Enbridge to fail to get the first compressor station in the Weymouth, it will be less likely they implement phase 2 which would involve us. Make no mistake, the outcome of the Weymouth fight will have a impact on our future. So now more than ever, CARCS urges all residents to stay engaged, go to the FRRACS website and support them.

While Enbridge, Eversource, and N Grid aggressively seek a mechanism to get us to pay for their pipelines, it is important to consider the existing gas transmission lines that run through our towns- by our homes, schools, and athletic fields are NOT being monitored by any agency other the pipeline company themselves! In fact, it is only after a “significant incident”, where there is significant property damage, or loss of life, does the federal agency PHMSA step in for a bit of hand slapping. There are 20,000 leaks currently in the Massachusetts gas distribution lines which are being monitored by outside agencies. How then can we be expected to “trust” our lines are safe, and not leaching into our wetlands, contaminating our well water? It only makes sense that the transmission lines must be similarly compromised, as they pre-date the lines that distribute the gas. CARCS finds this lapse in oversight unacceptable, as all pipelines will ultimately fail, leak and corrode. Therefore, we will continue to actively support our Conservation Commission in implementing DEP testing in wetlands where the emergency leaks occurred last September in town.

While Enbridge pursues our state legislators and ISO New England* to get us to finance the gas line expansion they desperately need, CARCS as a group, and as we as individuals, need to fight back and flood the legislature, the Department of Public Utilities, and our Governor’s offices with calls rejecting any attempts by pipeline lobbyists to revive any form of pipeline tax that could shift the burden of their projects onto us. And as the race for state senate and governor begin to heat up, we must educate ourselves on choosing the best candidates that will lead us away from an even higher dependency on NG for electricity and support better solutions to meet our current and future energy needs.

CARCS continues to hope we can count on your support in these and all of our future efforts- together we can succeed in protecting our communities! We invite you to attend our monthly planning meetings at the library, and if you do not have a NO COMPRESSOR sign or a CARCS T shirt, you need to get one! Our strategy is to get out ahead of Enbridge and stay there, to prevent future projects like ANE from coming back. Please do NOT take down your signs, and for those of you who still have our original NO TAX signs- that message is now more pertinent as ever! And please…
Tracy Manzella

*ISO New England- (ISO-NE) oversees the operation of New England's bulk electric power system and transmission lines, generated and transmitted by its member utilities is an independent, non-profit Regional Transmission Organization (RTO).


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