WEYMOUTH — The energy company that owns the natural gas compressor station on the banks of the Fore River plans to start the facility back up, several weeks after the third unplanned gas release at the site since September.
Enbridge, the Canadian-based energy company that built the compressor station, notified the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection this week that it may vent gas from the facility between April 29 and May 5 while it brings it back into service.
Enbridge spokesman Max Bergeron said in an email that the process will take a few days and involve ” controlled venting of natural gas through a stack specifically designed” for venting.
“We are planning to use advanced specialized equipment to minimize the volume of natural gas vented into the atmosphere,” he said. “In order to ensure awareness, we have notified state and local officials of these activities. We are proceeding with public health and safety as our priority.”
The compressor station is part of Enbridge’s Atlantic Bridge project, which expands the company’s natural gas pipelines from New Jersey into Canada. Since the station was proposed in 2015, residents have argued it presents serious health and safety risks.
On April 6, the compressor unit had an issue and shut off to prevent equipment damage, Bergeron said. The facility then vented natural gas, which Enbridge was required to report to MassDEP. Bergeron said Enbridge has revolved the issue.
“We continue to coordinate and inform (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration), and other agencies as needed, to safely restart the compressor unit,” Bergeron wrote.
Algonquin Gas Transmission, a subsidiary of Spectra Energy, received initial approval for the compressor station in January 2017 from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Enbridge later acquired Spectra.
State regulators also issued several permits for the project despite strong opposition from local officials and residents.
Read More: Compressor station coming back online after April 6 shutdown