Revised BACT Assessment & Proposed Determination
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) accepted public comment on the revised Best Available Control Technology (BACT) assessment and proposed determination for a natural gas compressor station at 50 Bridge Street, Weymouth, between August 6 and September 8, 2020. The agency issued a final determination and its response to comments received on September 29, 2020.
MassDEP Air Monitoring in the Fore River Area
MassDEP began operating a temporary air monitoring station in Weymouth, next to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) pump station, in February 2020. The agency established a permanent monitoring station on Monatiquot Street in April 2021.
The permanent station monitors fine particulate matter (PM2.5) nitrogen oxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) on a continuous basis, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on an every-six-day schedule. For VOCs, MassDEP collects 24-hour canister and 24-hour carbonyl cartridge samples for laboratory analysis.
See Additional Resources below for links to the the most recent available VOC data collected at permanent MassDEP monitoring stations in Weymouth, Lynn and Roxbury, and to MassAir Online, where real-time continuous PM2.5, NO2 and O3 monitoring data is available.
Air Quality Plan Approval
On January 11, 2019, MassDEP issued a Non-Major Comprehensive Air Quality Plan Approval to Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC, a subsidiary of Spectra Energy Corp., for construction and operation of its proposed natural gas compressor station in the Fore River Area of Weymouth. This facility would support capacity upgrades to, and expansion of, Algonquin’s natural gas transmission pipeline system.
On February 1, 2019, six parties filed adjudicatory appeals with respect to the Air Quality Plan Approval MassDEP issued to Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC on January 11, 2019. An adjudicatory hearing was held on the six consolidated administrative appeals on May 15, 16 and 17, and June 10, 2019. On August 26, 2019, MassDEP issued a Non-Major Comprehensive Air Quality Plan Approval to Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC, which incorporated conditions required by the Final Decision dated July 12, 2019, and Final Decision on Reconsideration dated August 7, 2019, In the Matter of Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC, Docket Nos. 2019-008 through 2019-013.
The agency's review of Algonquin's Air Quality Plan Application was limited to air pollution control issues only and its approval does not relieve the company of complying with any other regulatory requirements.
In July 2017, Governor Baker directed MassDEP and the Department of Public Health (DPH) to perform a comprehensive health impact assessment of the Fore River area before MassDEP issued any air permits for the proposed compressor station.
MassDEP had issued a proposed Air Quality Plan Approval for the project in March 2017, and in response to a petition and public interest, held a public comment period which concluded in May 2017.
Applications & Supporting Documents
Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC submitted an update to its Air Quality Plan Application, including a Sound Level Impact Assessment Report, in October 2018.
The company previously submitted an updated Air Quality Plan Application and Air Dispersion Modeling Report in May 2018.
Algonquin submitted its initial Air Quality Plan Application in January 2017.
Health Impact Assessment
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) developed the Fore River Area health impact assessment in collaboration with DPH and MassDEP, and issued the report on January 4, 2019.
At MassDEP's request, Alpha Analytical in May 2019 submitted revised lab reports for air samples taken by MassDEP in 2018. These reports provide results for additional volatile organic compounds (VOCs). See below.