, 12 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
1. THREAD on my latest #Weymouth compressor station revelation. Last year Massachusetts conducted a Health Impacts Assessment (HIA), ordered by @MassGovernor Baker, to evaluate Enbridge's 7,700 HP station's effects on the densely-populated area. desmogblog.com/2019/04/18/air…
2. As part of the HIA, @MassDEP conducted air sampling to establish baseline conditions in the Fore River Basin, and sent the sampling canisters to a private lab for analysis. The lab found most chemicals it tested for to be below state limits on air pollution.
3. The HIA thus concluded the station will not affect human health through direct exposure to the station's emissions - and the DEP issued Enbridge an air permit shortly after. But documents I obtained this week through an open records request paints a very troubling picture.
4. They show that through August & September, the DEP sent OTHER sampling canisters from the Weymouth site to analysis at Rhode Island's state air lab. The RI lab, which has a somewhat DIFFERENT list of pollutants it looks for, found several potent pollutants in elevated levels
5. These include 1,3-butadiene, a known carcinogen consistently associated w/ leukemia. Again, it was ABOVE allowable state levels. There's essentially no safe level of exposure to 1,3-butadiene. The state's limit is 0.002 parts per billion, i.e. the slightest amount is dangerous
6. Other known & possible carcinogens (as classified by the EPA) the RI lab found include acrolein & acrylonitrile. Their concentrations were also ABOVE state limits. To reiterate: these are pollutants not detected by the HIA's private lab, which used a different pollutant list
7. The DEP did not disclose these other samplings during the HIA process, even though it boasted of transparency and worked with a citizens Advisory Committee. Emails show the RI lab sent the analysis results back to the DEP on December 26, 2018, before the HIA report was out.
8. The DEP now claims it received those lab results after the HIA was complete. But internal emails and docs show otherwise. They indicate DEP, DPH & MAPC (the HIA contractor) worked 'til the end. Here's an email from Dec. 28, 2018. By then the DEP already had the RI lab results.
9. In short: the DEP did not disclose these extra samplings during the HIA process & did not incorporate them into the HIA report. Even if it was indeed late in the game, the DEP could have at least asked RI for the results earlier, as they were analyzed back in September.
10. Why didn't DEP insist the private lab it used in the HIA test for these other pollutants? It's unclear. Here's an email where the DEP did ask the lab why it's not testing for acrolein. The answer: it's not on the standard target list the lab's using.
11. The DEP is currently considering appeals to the air permit. END
CC'ing some stakeholders in the interest of sharing pertinent information concerning health and pollutants: @frracs @grumpygrumpyowl @MothersOutFront @Curt_Nordgaard @nathanpboston @WendyWendy48 @MayorBobHedlund
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