The auditorium of Ford Middle School in Acushnet was filled with well over 100 concerned local residents Wednesday evening to publicly comment in opposition of two proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facilities to be built in town.

The public scoping hearing was held by representatives of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, which is the body responsible for ruling whether the project will move forward.

The tanks are part of a larger natural gas pipeline project, Access Northeast, which is being directed by Spectra Energy and Eversource/National Grid.

Many of the 35-plus speakers that offered comments spoke about health and safety concerns, as well as their beliefs that the energy companies are moving this project forward with the aim of turning higher profits through exporting the surplus gas to Europe.

Roger Cabral, member of the LNG-opposition group Southcoast Neighbors United (SCNU), had a message to the companies that will be responsible for building the pipeline and storage facilities if approved.

"When you leave and go home at the end of the day, we're going to live with the nightmare you created for us here in Acushnet," Cabral said.

Cabral noted his concern for children in three schools within 1 1/2 miles of the tanks as well as nearby residents like himself.

Another member of SCNU, Wendy Graca, plainly told the FERC representatives this project was going against the very will of the effected communities.

"This project is being carried out in direct opposition to the will of the communities in which it passes, who bare the burden of the health and safety risks that come with fracked gas infrastructure, including emissions from all above ground infrastructure and routinely occurring pipeline incidents," said Graca.

Though none of the proposed pipeline will pass through New Bedford, Mayor Jon Mitchell released a statement on behalf of the city's own interests.

The statement, read by Chief of Staff Neil Melo during the hearing, announced a partnership between the city and Eversource to fund an independent study on the effects of the proposed project.

"The City engaged representatives of Eversource, as an Access Northeast Project Partner, to request financial support that would allow the City to commission an independent third-party impact analysis," read the statement. "The impact analysis would examines three key areas of interest to the City: 1) resident safety and potential impacts on municipal public safety operations, 2) potential local economic impacts, and 3) fiscal issues."

The study is expected to be conducted over the next few months and findings should be available in the fall.

According to the statement, 2,700 New Bedford residents live within one mile of the proposed LNG storage facility.

The deadline for public comment to FERC is May 31, though multiple government officials including the Acushnet Board of Selectmen, Mayor Mitchell, Congressman Bill Keating and Attorney General Maura Healey have requested the deadline be extended a minimum of 45 days.

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