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1. Another THREAD on Enbridge's #Weymouth, MA compressor station. Internal MassDEP documents point to other problematic issues with the Health Impacts Assessment (HIA) Massachusetts conducted for the station (which I couldn't fit in my recent article 👇). desmogblog.com/2019/04/18/air…
2. Take a look at the following paragraph from the HIA report (page 85). The average reader will reasonably conclude that MassDEP conducted chromatography air monitoring for four pollutants (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene, a.k.a. BTEX) for four months (Aug-Nov)
3. and only Benzene spiked. But take a closer look at the HIA appendix (from page 70): it shows that while benzene was indeed measured during the four month period (Aug-Nov), toluene was measured only during Aug-Oct and ethylbenzene & xylene only during October. So what happened?
4. Turns out, the chromatograph met with some technical difficulties monitoring these pollutants, as the two MassDEP emails below indicate. These issues were not disclosed in the HIA report. What it means is that the HIA promised pollution data - but did not fully deliver
5. In another omission, the MassDEP, it turns out, modeled air pollution dispersion from the station in small amounts - but did not disclose those maps in the final HIA report.
6. Take a look at the images below. On the left: modeled benzene dispersion at 5% of the state threshold for exposure, which was published in the HIA. But internally DEP did another modeling: 1% from the threshold (right image), which was left OUT of the HIA. Notice something?
7. That's right: at 1% of the pollution threshold, while indeed a small modeled amount, benzene reaches well into residential streets: essentially all of Germantown, an Enviro Justice neighborhood, and parts of Quincy Point and N. Weymouth are expected to breath these amounts.
8.The DEP also did similar internal mapping for formaldehyde. Again, compare the two images: On the left, what was included in the HIA; on the right, what was left out. Admittedly, these are small amounts - but there's something to be said about the psychology of pollution maps.
9. Choosing to publicize the map that doesn't show the modeled pollution plume reaching to people's homes might serve, even if unintentionally, to dampen concerns - while not providing people with a full picture of all potential risks.
10. Emails suggest DEP staff internally deliberated which of these maps to include in the HIA report, as this email from a DEP toxicologist shows. They chose to go with the one not showing plumes reaching people's homes.
11. This decision came a month after the same toxicologist voiced her concern that only mapping concentrations might indeed not convey risks of exposure to pollutants in small amounts, as this email indicates.
12. To be sure: perhaps DEP had good scientific grounds to make these calls. Perhaps they made the right ones. But why not make full and transparent disclosure of all datapoints and maps produced in the course of the HIA so the public can come to informed conclusions?
13. As I did in my previous thread, I'm CC'ing some relevant stakholders in the name of sharing new data and information concerning health & pollution @grumpygrumpyowl @Curt_Nordgaard @nathanpboston @FRRACS_MA @MayorBobHedlund @WendyWendy48
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