Compressor Station: Quincy Sun Letter to the Editor

June 15, 2017

Dear Editor,

For the second time in as many months, the Quincy City Council has spoken out for the future of our planet, as well as sound fiscal management and Quincy residents’ health. On May 1, councilors passed a resolution on the use of electric vehicles in our city fleet, which would save the city money, help clean up the air we breathe, and help reduce the emissions of the greenhouse gases that are causing worldwide climate change. Then on June 2, they passed a resolution related to the justly unpopular plans for the Fore River gas compressor station.

A report commissioned by Attorney General Maura Healy has found that Massachusetts simply doesn’t need more gas, lending credence to suspicions that the gas that would be pumped by the new compressor is intended for Europe, not for us. Meanwhile, academic studies have found that, because of leaks at wellheads and in transmission and distribution pipelines, fracked gas is just as bad as coal in its effect on climate.

As to the proposed compressor station, the June 2 city council resolution points out that limited monitoring in the Fore River Basin by Curtis Nordgaard, M.D., M. Sc. has found that a witches’ brew of toxins are already in the air in that neighborhood, several of them known to increase the risk of leukemia, liver cancer, aplastic anemia, and bone marrow damage, among other ailments. The levels of these toxins found by Dr. Nordgaard far exceed those predicted by Spectra, the corporation proposing the compressor station, and levels of most exceed those deemed safe under state guidelines. With air so toxic, why would Quincy want to add yet another pollution source such as the compressor station?

Because reliable air pollution figures are essential for predicting the overall hazard to public health posed by the compressor project, the city council resolution calls on the state Department of Environmental Protection to monitor the air near the compressor site, starting immediately. It also enumerates a number of sound reasons why the state should deny a waterways license to the project, and it calls for the passage of Senate Bill 469, cosponsored by Quincy’s Sen. John Keenan. Should this important bill be enacted into law, it would prohibit the siting of compressor stations within a half mile of any church, school, playground, daycare center, protected waterway, residential area, or environmental justice neighborhood.

On behalf of Quincy Climate Action Network, I’d like to thank the city council, and especially Councilors Margaret Laforest and Brad Croall, the cosponsors of the June 2 resolution, for weighing in on an issue that’s so crucial to the health of Quincy residents and to the planet we all live on.


David Reich

Board Chair, Quincy Climate Action Network