Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund has rejected Spectra Energy’s proposal to give the town $47 million over the next 14 years if officials stopped fighting the company’s plan to build a natural gas compressor station near the Fore River Bridge in North Weymouth.
“In the end, there is no offer or argument that can justify the siting of this compressor station in North Weymouth,” Hedlund said in a statement released May 6. “It’s the wrong project in the wrong location.”
Hedlund was criticized by local activists for discussing a possible deal with the Texas-based energy company, which wants to build the compressor station as part of its $1 billion plan to upgrade and expand its pipeline systems to bring in more natural gas from its network to New England and Canada. The company has said the project is needed to meet consumer demand, and the compressor station is needed to keep the gas flowing smoothly.
Opponents of the station say it should be located in a less heavily populated area because of concerns about safety and pollution.
Hedlund said he felt compelled to talk with Spectra because it seemed unlikely that local opposition would stop the project, which needs approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. But he decided against accepting any offer, and called on federal officials to help derail the project.
“I continue my call in demanding that our Congressional delegation in Washington use their power to change FERC’s rigged process and stop the federal government from putting compressor stations in densely populated neighborhoods like North Weymouth,” he said.
US Representative Stephen Lynch, of South Boston, has spoken against the compression station location.