By Julie Loncich, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Christopher White will admit when he moved into his West Roxbury home more than a decade ago, he was unaware of his neighbors.

“Suddenly the entire house shook. Pretty violently,” said Christopher White. “[There’s a] foundation crack. It was here when we bought the house.”

White lives several blocks away from West Roxbury Crushed Stone on Grove Street. If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission allows it, White could also live just blocks away from a high pressure gas pipeline proposed by Spectra Energy.

“Who puts a high pressure line in a blasting zone? That just seems like a no-brainer. That’s not going to work,” said White.

“If there’s a breach in the pipeline because of that blasting, you’re talking massive, massive devastation,” said Mark McDonald, president of NatGas Consulting.

White can’t prove the blasting at the quarry caused the crack in his foundation. Neighbors have similar damage. They’re worried constant blasting could one day damage a steel pipe buried beneath the ground, carrying 750 pounds per square inch of natural gas.

“You’ve got three schools that abut this pipeline. You’ve got a recreational center. You’ve got a nursing home. I can’t imagine why someone would look at this and think it’s a great idea,” said David DeBeck of Stop West Roxbury Lateral Coalition.

It’s called the West Roxbury Lateral. Spectra says it will help increase demand and reduce energy costs. In a study, Spectra concluded the project would, “not result in significant increased public safety risk.”

The five mile pipeline would run through Westwood and Dedham and end at the active quarry in West Roxbury.

“It’s just extremely, extremely dangerous and it doesn’t belong there,” said McDonald.

McDonald says he isn’t against natural gas, he’s against this location.

“They don’t belong in the public. They don’t belong near schools. They don’t belong near people, gas stations, nursing homes. It just doesn’t belong here and the industry knows that and the companies know that,” said McDonald.

“The city and state doesn’t have a lot of tools to use here to slow this down or even stop this,” said Mayor Marty Walsh.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has been working with Congressman Lynch to find a better route.

“I don’t want it to sound like, ‘not in my backyard. It’s fine if it’s over in Hyde Park or Roslindale.’ I don’t mean that. It’s not in my backyard when there’s a blasting zone in my backyard,” said White.

In a statement, Spectra Energy said, “The Algonquin system is designed to be safely and efficiently expanded with minimal community and environmental impacts.”

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could release its final environmental impact statement as early as next week.

WBZ News reached out to Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Ed Markey for comment, but never heard back.

Comments (7)

Leave a Reply