BOSTON – Today, the Boston City Council, led by City Councilor Matt O’Malley, unanimously passed a resolution opposing the planned West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline. The Council additionally requested a baseline Health Commission study to investigate the potential impact of the pipeline on its proposed path.
Councilor O’Malley, who represents District 6 in Boston, which includes the neighborhoods of West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain, parts of Roslindale and Roxbury, and the Back of the Hill, is one of several city and state officials who are staunch opponents of the proposed pipeline. This resolution was unanimously passed by the Councilor and the four at-large Boston City Councilors, Michael Flaherty, Stephen Murphy, Ayanna Pressley, and Michelle Wu.
The Resolution comes on the heels of Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s April 2nd request for a rehearing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with regard to FERC’s Final Environmental Impact Statement for this project. FERC’s findings would allow Algonquin Gas to build a new, 750 psi high pressure gas transport line that would run next to West Roxbury Crushed Stone. FERC’s findings are of serious concern to the local community due to the public safety issues of having a natural gas pipeline constructed adjacent to a quarry that uses dynamite on a daily basis.
“We are strongly encouraged by the Council’s decision today,” said Paul Horn, spokesperson for The Committee to Stop the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline (SWRL). “The dangers inherent in a high pressure natural gas transport pipeline are numerous. You only have to look at the 2010 San Bruno, Calif. natural gas pipeline explosion to see the potential for destruction on a massive scale that would affect West Roxbury, Dedham, and neighboring areas. This type of pipeline simply does not belong in any densely settled neighborhood, particularly in proximity to an active quarry.”
In San Bruno in September 2010, a natural gas pipeline with an internal pressure of only 350 psi exploded, killing eight people, destroying 38 homes, and damaging many others. It left a crater in the earth measuring 167 feet long by 26 feet wide.
As Mayor Walsh said in a public statement in early April, “I have listened to the concerns of the community, and we have asked Algonquin Gas and Spectra Energy several times to find a new route for this pipeline. The project as proposed poses real public safety risks for West Roxbury residents, and we must work together with the community and with our city, state and federal partners to find a solution that is in the best interests of West Roxbury residents.”
The Committee to Stop the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline
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