Enbridge’s compressor station in Weymouth evacuated another batch of natural gas on Wednesday as crews carried out maintenance work, the latest release in the vicinity of a facility that has drawn continued criticism from lawmakers and residents.
Max Bergeron, a spokesperson for the energy company, said on Wednesday that crews evacuated 11,397 standard cubic feet of natural gas “in a controlled manner and in accordance with our procedures and the design of the facility.” .
“During testing, we identified the need to initiate controlled ventilation through the compressor crankcase ventilation stack, which is specifically designed to vent natural gas,” Bergeron said in a statement. “Controlled natural gas ventilation is a safe and routine procedure that is part of some maintenance activities.”
Enbridge is required to alert state and local authorities of any gas release over 10,000 cubic feet from the compressor station, which is a key part of the company’s Atlantic Bridge pipeline infrastructure that helps ship gas. natural gas north to utility companies in Maine and Canada.
Ease closed a week ago and released a small amount of gas, below the reporting limit. Enbridge declared a “force majeure” at regulatory filings, which it called “standard practice” when a compressor becomes unavailable for service, and indicated its intention to perform maintenance work.
“Last week we identified the need to perform maintenance on equipment and took the compressor unit offline to do so,” Bergeron said on Wednesday. “There was a slight delay in shipping for a part, so the maintenance activities took longer than expected. Since the compressor has been offline for a longer period, we have informed our customers that the installation will not be available until maintenance is complete. “
On three separate occasions – one in April and two in September – the station released large volumes of gas amid the closures.
The facility, which has received all necessary state and federal permits, officially launched operations in December. It has been a source of controversy for years amid concerns about its impact on the environment and health. US Senator Ed Markey said last week that he believed the compressor should be permanently shut down, calling it “dangerous, unnecessary and a clear and present threat to public safety.”