Thurs Sept 13 – explosions in Lawrence/Andover area, north of Boston

All highway ramps and roads to Lawrence/Andover/Methuen are open again. Per state police, Sunday Sept 16. (Some roads to the area had been closed Thurs night to facilitate evacuation.)

Details: MA State Police on Twitter

Live updates on

You can sign the petition from 350 Mass for a Better Future to “demand that Governor Baker halt all new gas infrastructure projects.”


Protest is a legal ‘necessity’!

Judge Mary Ann Driscoll presided over the trial of 13 defendants on March 27, 2018 at WR Courthouse in Forest Hills. Their charges were reduced from criminal to civil infractions, and Judge Driscoll acquitted all of them on the basis of “climate necessity.” See video on the Climate Disobedience website. For background on the case, see this description of the 2016 Mass Grave Pipeline Action, which Tim DeChristopher called a “new challenge of combining grief with resistance.”

WBUR writes: “This week, a Boston judge made a potentially landmark ruling on using climate change for what’s known as a ‘legal necessity defense,’ in the case of the protesters of the West Roxbury gas pipeline.” Listen to the March 29, 2018 Radio Boston interview by Meghna Chakrabarti and Jamie Bologna with guests Nancy Gertner and Tim DeChristopher.

For over a year, the defendants’ day in court had been delayed repeatedly as they tried to get Spectra to cooperate in providing material for their defense. Spectra dug in its heels in every way possible and refused to produce its own emergency safety plan for the M&R or pipeline at the request of the mayor and police and fire commissioners.

Court case: Intervenors

As of Oct 2017, there is also a Petition for Review in the D.C. Circuit, on behalf of multiple intervenors under CP14-96.

The gas was turned on Jan 5, 2017

Check out the coverage from Wicked Local:

“National Grid: West Roxbury gas metering and regulating station is operational” by Julie M. Cohen

 “INTERACTIVE: Follow controversy, pipe line route in West Roxbury” by Caitlyn Kelleher

The gas from the WRL is going (in part) to service new luxury developments in the Seaport. National Grid has announced plans to build intermediate pressure pipelines in the Back Bay. There are no longer ongoing WRL vigils in West Roxbury, but there are vigils on Wednesdays at noon for the Back Bay “Billionaires'” pipeline. That pipeline will feed luxury condos (beginning with One Dalton St.). National Grid is benefiting from the increased gas supply from the WRL and has a special pricing deal for the Back Bay pipeline. Learn more from Boston Clean Energy Coalition (Facebook page).

Want to resist?

Many people anxious to stop Spectra Energy’s outrageously dangerous project have decided that nonviolent civil disobedience is their next step. Find out more:

2016-08 chalk on stairs

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Vacant storefront in West Roxbury covered in SWRL signs

12 thoughts on “Thurs Sept 13 – explosions in Lawrence/Andover area, north of Boston

  1. I have read about the dangers of constructing a high pressure pipeline in a highly populated area and do not understand why this is even being considered in West Roxbury .
    I am especially concerned about the area where the meter station will be situated- across from an active blasting quarry. This is unthinkable and must not happen! It is decidedly risky and bad for the environment. Other energy sources should be considered and this project should not be rushed. There are other far safer ways to go about producing cheaper energy which need discussion. The wind turbines were debated for years in and close to Cape Cod and the islands, for example. They are cropping up in many places now. They are quiet, safe, and an alternative to discuss, among others.


  2. Gas is much safer than any of the folks critical of it seem to want to admit. We all use electricity in our homes and the number of deaths related to electrical issues are far higher nationally than those related to gas. Further, if you made and sold shoes for a living and your trucks that ship them to your stores break down, you would fix those trucks. Without them operating properly, your product can’t get to the stores and you make no money. The same is true of interstate pipelines. Gas is a product. Any interruption in that service causes extreme losses in revenue. No pipeline company wants that to happen and they will take every precaution reasonable to prevent it from happening. They don’t want their profits to go up in smoke while damaging the very communities they are trying to help by providing a reliable and more environmentally friendly energy option.

    Wind power is not sustainable as a long term option. The amount of power produced is simply not enough. They only produce power about 40% of the time and unless the wind is above 30-35mph the amount of power produced is minimal. It’s unreliable. And if you’re worried about the environment, it’s non-sustaining. To make these wind turbines effective you would need massive battery banks to store the load so that they can run more frequently. However batteries contain caustic chemicals, need to be replaced yearly, and cannot be deposited in landfills creating a greater carbon footprint.

    I appreciate the “not in my backyard” notion of this, but in the larger picture, natural gas is the best power solution available to us on a large scale right now. There might be other technologies that will be viable in the future, but they aren’t yet and we need the power up here. The Northeast has the highest demand and lowest supply in the country and it’s getting worse.


    • I hope Doug and others are now acquainted with the studies (most recently by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s consultant) showing that we do not need to invest in massive, costly and dangerous new pipeline infrastructure to meet our energy needs–to “keep the lights on,” as the saying goes–even during the coldest days of winter; other much safer means are available. And it turns out that much if not all of this new supply is actually intended for export to more lucrative markets in Europe not to meet supposed local needs.
      . .

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a West Roxbury resident, I was born and raised here and I have family who live near and across st., from where this proposed project is going to be so I am very concerned about this pipeline. This pipeline does not belong in West Roxbury.


    • I agree with you Linda. I lived in West Roxbury all my life and most of my family still lives and near the quarry, this is truly a real bad idea and why wouldn’t consider some place less populated. This is a real real bad idea.


  4. Let’s checkpoint for a second… as of Sept 12, 2015

    This high-pressure (750 psi) Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) gas pipeline project has been planned for quite some time. The sale and potential use of the property for this high-pressure (750 psi) gas pipeline’s metering and regulation station to the Federal government by West Roxbury Crushed Stone Company’s Anthony Lorusso, AJ Lorusso and Ed Sonia would / should have been discovered by Boston officials, at that time. The location of the metering and regulation station for the pipeline, across from a blasting quarry, would / should have also become known, at that time.

    I’m not sure if any meetings, etc. were held, at that point by Boston officials concerning this dangerous project, but I do know that my neighborhood was not invited to one and we live relatively close to the quarry. This is all water under the bridge now but just something to add to our thinking when we again see, common sense overruled.

    Now let’s move up to the present and the theater of the absurd. Excuse my cynicism but I’ve been around long enough to develop a good healthy dose of it.

    On Sept 8, 2015
    excerpt from the Herald on Sept 9, 2015
    A federal judge abruptly ended a hearing yesterday to determine if a natural gas pipeline company can take three West Roxbury streets without the city’s permission, telling lawyers to call him if they reach a settlement.

    full article:

    This Federal Judge, William Young, along with City of Boston’s attorney, Thomas Fitzpatrick and Algonquin’s attorney, James Finnigan already knew the outcome of this hearing. The judge wasn’t willing to waste more than 10 minutes on it. This was theater for you and me.

    Barring Governor Baker calling up the National Guard and putting them on Washington St’s, Dedham border or an Act of God this pipeline is going through. I could be wrong and I’m still praying for an Act of God but…

    So what can we do? Here are a few ideas to get started. Not all of them would work for everyone.

    1. Boycott the West Roxbury Crushed Stone Company, Anthony Lorusso, AJ Lorusso, Ed Sonia and any companies they own or do business with.

    2. Begin a campaign to shutdown the West Roxbury Crushed Stone Company quarry.

    3. Inform your representative (i.e. Walsh, Coppinger, Rush, O’Malley, Lynch, Warren, etc) that you will not be supporting them in the next election because of this major failure. We need representatives that can actually produce the desired outcome, not just talk about one.

    4. Switch to a partial or full solar system

    5. Move out of the city of Boston

    ná bíodh eagla ort!


  5. I’ve done a bit more research on who issues or denies blast permits to the West Roxbury Crushed Stone Co.
    The Boston Fire Department’s Commissioner, Joseph E. Finn, investigates and approves blasting permits. For those of you who might like to express your concerns over this matter, he can be contacted @

    And thanks to those who take their valuable time to run this site.


  6. This is from Spectra website on how they develop “Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Pipeline Routes”

    We design innovative and environmentally friendly pipeline routes with the help of satellite imagery and aerial photography.

    Spectra Energy employs a variety of techniques and perspectives when developing the most efficient and environmentally friendly pipeline routes.

    The goal of any new pipeline project is to make connections-from major natural gas supply basins to communities that need the natural gas to power and heat homes and businesses. To do so, Spectra Energy looks for the most efficient, environmentally friendly routes by examining proposed routes from a variety of perspectives.

    Big Picture
    To gain a big picture overview of the proposed route, we employ high-tech satellite imagery and aerial photographs. We take care to avoid environmentally sensitive regions and areas of large population and take advantage of existing infrastructure, like transmission rights of way and interstates and highways.

    Grass Roots
    We also examine proposed routes at the local level. Spectra Energy engineers walk the route to gain an understanding of the topography and natural growth. We carefully select pipe sizes and coatings based on environmental conditions to ensure the safety and integrity of the pipeline.

    Community Input
    One of the most important steps in pipeline design is gathering input from the community. In community meetings, we discuss with local leaders and landowners their interests and concerns, and coordinate with local, state and federal agencies to identify sensitive areas, such as wetlands and historical and cultural sites.

    Through these techniques, Spectra Energy is able to develop pipeline routes that minimize impact on the environment and communities.

    Source: Spectra Energy website:


  7. . I drove south from the intersection of Grove St. & Washington St. at 8:20am. this morning, Tues 10/6. There are many workers spread out along 1 or 2 blocks with many orange cones, a number of policemen, and at least 3 backhoes digging. I did not see anyone protesting at 8:20. I’ll drive back towards Grove St. and if I see any protesters I’ll join them.


  8. I am one of twenty million people who live within a 50 mile radius of the Spectra AIM pipeline that will run within 105 feet of the Indian Nuclear Power Plant 35 miles north of NYC~ were something to go wrong with the power plant/gas pipeline a catastrophic event could occur~ I know “West Roxbury” has been working hard to stop AIM~ I am with you on this end in NY~ I have a petition to our NYS elected officials~if we could stop the pipeline here in NY it could slow things down on your end….
    if you feel drawn to sign a petition I wrote please do what ever you decide please keep on doing the great work you are doing you are an inspiration to us here a friend of my has joined you in your work it is wonderful to know you are there

    Liked by 1 person

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