Natural gas facility opponents gain support
One of the hottest issues on the South Shore these days is the proposal by a Texas-based company to build a natural gas compressor station near the mouth of the Fore River in Weymouth.
Enbridge Inc. says the compressor — part of a larger project known as Atlantic Bridge — will bring much-needed gas supplies into New England and coastal Canada by helping to push gas through a pipeline to the North Shore and beyond. But in Weymouth and Quincy, especially in the neighborhoods near the targeted site, many residents and local leaders vehemently oppose the project, convinced the facility’s touted public benefits do not outweigh its potential danger and impact on health and property values.
On Monday, the opponents, including the group Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station, could add another arrow to their quiver. That’s when several Boston-area public health specialists, in association with the Greater Boston Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, are scheduled to hold a briefing at Boston College to express their opposition to the project, too, in advance of a state Department of Environmental Protection hearing that begins in Boston on Wednesday.
Phil Gloudemans, a Boston College spokesman, said a number of eminent public health experts will participate, including Philip Landrigan, professor of biology and director of the Boston College Global Public Health Program; Douglas W. Dockery, professor of environmental epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Richard Clapp, professor emeritus at Boston University’s School of Public Health.
The proposed site for the compressor “is just 9.2 miles from Boston in a heavily populated area with six nearby schools (1,700 students), elderly housing, a nursing home, a mental health facility, and the Fore River Bridge, which carries 30,000 vehicles daily, all of which would be vulnerable in a gas pipeline explosion,” the professors said in a BC news release.
The briefing begins at 10 a.m. in the Murray Function Room, Yawkey Athletics Center, Campanella Way, in Chestnut Hill (Newton). For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elswhere, the city of Beverly is looking for input from the public as it begins a yearlong process of creating a new master plan. A kickoff “Listening and Visioning Workshop” is scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the senior center, 90 Colon St. Local master plans typically outline how a community hopes to evolve in areas ranging from housing and transportation to recreation. Beverly’s current plan was approved in 2002. Visit plan.beverlyma.gov.
The town of Winchester is also working on a new master plan, and its Town Common Task Force is holding a gathering on Tuesday to collect public input on what it should include. The gathering is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. at Winchester High School. JM Goldson, the town’s master plan consultant, is taking input only through early June. Visit winchester.us/calendar.
Fun stuff: The town of Maynard is holding a community celebration on Friday to mark the reopening of its Bike Share station at the Mill & Main Place development, off Main Street. “Zagfest” will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Maynard joined Minuteman Bike Share, a regional program serviced by Zagster that also includes Acton, Concord, and Lexington, last fall. Visit bike.zagster.com/minuteman.
It’s also “Bay State Bike Week” through Sunday, with events planned around the state including several on the Cape sponsored by the Cape Cod Commission. Visit capecodcommission.org.
In Newton, the Linda Plaut Newton Festival of the Arts (newly named in memory of the late director of the mayor’s office of culture) runs through May and June with events including music, performance, art, movies, Porchfests, and Village Days. A highlight this week is Bizet’s opera “Carmen” by the Commonwealth Lyric Theater on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Ave. Visit commonwealthlyrictheater.com and newtoncommunitypride.org.