Lynch Sends Letter to FERC Regarding Algonquin Pipeline

Oct 23, 2014

BOSTON, MA - Today, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch sent a letter to Cheryl A. LaFleur, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, regarding the proposed Algonquin Incremental Market Project. Congressman Lynch expressed concerns regarding the impact on the neighborhood of West Roxbury and towns of Dedham and Westwood. 

The text of the letter is below:

October 23, 2014

Ms. Cheryl A. LaFleur, Chairman
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426         

Dear Commissioner LaFleur:

I am writing with regard to the Algonquin Incremental Market Project proposed by Algonquin Transmission, LLC (Algonquin). As United States Representative for the Massachusetts Eighth District, I represent Boston’s West Roxbury neighborhood and a number of impacted towns including Dedham and Westwood.

At a recent community meeting in West Roxbury sponsored by local representatives and attended by Mayor Martin J. Walsh and me, many issues were brought to our attention that warrant consideration as the process moves forward. Of particular concern is the danger that the proposed route of the high pressure gas pipeline presents to the densely settled residential homes in the area. Of further concern is the decision to locate the Metering and Regulating station in an area of residential homes and adjacent to an active stone quarry that engages in significant ongoing blasting activity.

As proposed, the current route which runs along Grove Street to the M&R Station at Grove and Centre Streets across from the quarry is troubling. According to many of the longtime residents of the homes in the area, they regularly experience shaking and rattling with each blast from the quarry, raising legitimate worry that this is not an optimal or safe location for a high pressure gas line. While I understand the need to supply natural gas to this area, I agree with my neighbors and must oppose the current configuration based on the quality of life and public safety concerns generated by the current iteration of this project.

My office has continued to receive inquiries and hear concerns from the affected communities, especially the West Roxbury area surrounding the quarry. Those calls and concerns also include thoughtful alternatives that would allow the project to proceed under a different route and configuration. I recognize that Spectra has submitted an engineering study done by GZA. However, I respectfully request that this study be reevaluated and more thoroughly examined. In the final analysis, the route must be altered to ensure the reasonable protections sought by the residents of West Roxbury and adjacent towns. 

Reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and meeting the energy needs of Massachusetts and the New England region are critical and shared concerns. As we strive to achieve energy independence and energy security, we must be cautious and deliberative in our approach to locating the necessary infrastructure. It is my hope that as you review information relative to the Algonquin Incremental Market project, you will carefully consider the concerns raised by residents and local officials of the impacted communities. 

Thank you for your consideration on this important and time sensitive matter. If I may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me, I will make myself available.


8th District