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Key deadline for approval of Weymouth compressor station pushed back

State regulators pushed back the approval process for a natural gas compressor station in the town of Weymouth, Massachusetts.
State regulators pushed back the approval process for a natural gas compressor station in the town of Weymouth, Massachusetts.(Gallagher Landscaping)

State regulators pushed back a key deadline in the approval process for a natural gas compressor station in Weymouth, adding several more weeks to the review process as they await a different department’s decision on appealed permits.

The Office of Coastal and Zone Management wrote to Algonquin Gas Transmission, a subsidiary of energy giant Enbridge, last month requesting another stay to its federal consistency review period. The current stay ends Monday, and CZM asked to extend that to Aug. 15 with the review to be completed by Sept. 5.

An Algonquin representative signed off on the delay, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the News Service. A spokesperson for CZM could not be reached for immediate comment Friday.

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Enbridge, a Calgary, Alberta-based energy company, wants to build the compressor on four undeveloped acres as part of its Atlantic Bridge Project to expand natural gas pipeline capacity to New England and Canada. The company said the project will ease tight supplies and will comply with environmental standards.

In the letter, CZM wrote that it traditionally waits to sign off on its review until all other related agencies complete their work, and several permits issued by the Department of Environmental Protection are not yet resolved. The project’s Chapter 91 license and wetlands and waterways permits were all appealed by opponents, and the DEP has not yet made a final decision on those cases.

A DEP spokesman told the News Service on Friday that “there is no timeframe” on when Hearing Officer Jane Rothchild will produce her recommendation on whether the permits should stand.

Following Rothchild’s suggestion, DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg last month upheld an air-quality permit for the project, a decision that opponents said they plan to challenge in court.