Another unplanned gas release at Weymouth compressor station

The compressor station in Weymouth vented natural gas into the surrounding area on Tuesday morning, energy giant Enbridge said, marking the third gas release in the past six months at the facility that has drawn renewed federal scrutiny.

Enbridge informed the state Department of Environmental Protection and nearby municipalities that an “unplanned gas release” occurred at 9:37 a.m. The company said it would provide authorities with an estimate of how much gas was released within three business days, but Tuesday’s notification meant the volume was at least 10,000 standard cubic feet.

“This event was not an emergency shutdown, it was an unplanned case vent, during which a controlled release of gas was vented through the case vent stack, which is designed to safely vent natural gas,” Enbridge spokesperson Max Bergeron said in a statement.

The station experienced two emergency shutdowns in September 2020, releasing hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of natural gas in the process. Enbridge said the first incident was caused by an O-ring problem and the second stemmed from an electrical issue.

Enbridge started service at the station on Jan. 25, Bergeron said, after receiving approval last year from all regulatory entities. The project has drawn opposition from lawmakers, environmental and health groups and community leaders who allege its location near a densely populated neighborhood and environmental justice communities poses major risks.

In February, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission opened a process to re-examine “public safety concerns” associated with the station’s operation.

A wide range of entities have filed comments about the project with FERC since then, including other major players in the energy industry, Attorney General Maura Healey, and state and federal lawmakers.

(Copyright (c) 2021 State House News Service.