Opponents of Acushnet LNG Storage Facility Meet to Discuss Strategy
As Eversource begins the permitting process for a new LNG storage facility in Acushnet, a group of over 70 opponents met to discuss blocking the project Wednesday night.
Claire Miller, Lead Community Organizer from Boston-based environmental group Toxics Action Center, ran an informational meeting at the Grace Episcopal Church in downtown New Bedford.
Miller has already partnered with other environmental groups in Somerset and New Bedford and offered her group's assistance to help combat the LNG project.
Miller said that offer was accepted and she looks forward to working with the "passionate and dedicated" group at future meetings.
Local attorney Dana Sargent and Hands Across the River president Karen Vilandry also contributed to the organization of the meeting.
Along with hearing about their options, attendees had the opportunity to discuss their thoughts on the project and meet others who shared the same views.
Local elected officials, utility representatives and the news media were barred from attending in hopes of allowing attendees to feel comfortable sharing their candid thoughts and opinions. Miller said future meetings will likely follow the same format.
The LNG project, which consists of building two additional tanks that will hold a combined 6.8 billion cubic feet of LNG on the 250 acres owned by Eversource, is part of a larger project called Access Northeast, which will expand the existing Algonquin pipeline system.
Eversource and Spectra Energy representatives held an informational session September 23 at Ford Middle School in Acushnet to allow residents to ask questions and learn more about the project.
Many people in attendance raised safety concerns, while others questioned whether the decision to allow the project had already been made by town officials.
The ultimate decision will be made by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but representatives assured those in attendance during the previous meeting that they will do their best to make the project as transparent as possible and continue to engage with the public.