Folks in Flint, MI are lucky to have a local pediatrician, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, fighting to clean up their lead-contaminated water. Without her tireless efforts, the State of Michigan would still be claiming that the water is just fine in Flint.
The residents of Weymouth and those of us nearby are also privileged to have a local pediatrician fighting for us. Dr. Curtis Nordgaard, of Boston Children’s Hospital is on a tear. On his own time, Dr. Nordgaard has done superb amounts of research about the hazards to our health that come with the installation of gas compressor stations, metering and regulating stations and gas pipelines, in general. Compressor stations are the most dangerous according to Dr. Nordgaard. He is currently traveling throughout the region providing citizens with the information they need to fight Spectra Energy and its push into New England with more pipelines.
Last Tuesday, two BCANers trucked down to the Quincy Public Library where the Fore River Residents Against the Pipeline in Weymouth hosted Dr. Nordgaard and his incredibly detailed and clear power point presentation. He outlines the amount of toxic materials released during the compression process. The list includes: acetaldehyde, acrolein, BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzonexylene….whew!), formaldahyde and naphthalene (one of many VOCs or volatile organic compounds) among others such as particulate matter and nitrogen oxide. In addition, there are unknown, most likely toxic, materials that are emitted but are “protected information” for the corporation.
The Doctor took all of his information from the paperwork that Spectra was required to submit in their own application. From those data he did his own calculations having to do with limits set by the CDC and EPA for health consequences. He also has set meters in people’s backyards and on buildings nearby to read the air quality now in the area of the proposed compressor station to use as a baseline.
Here is one example Dr.Nordgaard calculated: Formaldehyde is considered carcinogenic at .06ppb and toxic at 8-40ppb. The cancer it causes is of the nose/throat and leukemia. The amount the Weymouth compressor station would emit if approved, would be 762x the carcinogenic threshold and 1.25-6x the toxicity threshold. Dr. Nordgaard had such numbers for most of the other toxic releases.
By going to this site you will find more information regarding the damage that is caused and all of his references.
Dr. Nordgaard was quite moving and really urged folks to get involved either at the State level by lobbying Senators and at the local level by getting involved in direct action. He showed one picture of a demonstration at the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline this last fall. We were able to encourage the audience to participate by mentioning that we were part of the movement to stop these pipelines and had in fact been at the protest.
Now we have another group to support to end these unnecessary and dangerous pipelines. On to clean, renewable energy!