A Massuchusetts appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit challenging one of the approvals of the Weymouth natural gas compressor station along the Atlantic Bridge Project, which transports Appalachia supply into Canada.

A three-judge panel agreed with the Supreme Judicial Court judge’s ruling that the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) could not seek judicial review of the Weymouth compressor approval. The approval was issued by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). The group did not have the right to an agency hearing, and therefore could not request a judicial review, the appeals court stated. The appellate panel also agreed with the judge that FRRACS did not meet other standards under which it could have sought a judicial review.

The panel in its ruling said “nothing in the statutory language, legislative intent or regulatory scheme indicates that the public may seek judicial review of a CZM consistency determination” [AC 21-P-149].

The Weymouth compressor was one of the final pieces of the Atlantic Bridge Project to be placed into service by Enbridge Inc. subsidiary Algonquin Gas Transmission (AGT). The expansion added 132,705 Dth/d to the AGT and Maritimes & Northeast (M&NE) pipeline systems in New England, which transport gas into Canada.

AGT comprises 1,129 miles of pipeline in New England, New Jersey and New York. M&NE comprises 346 miles of pipeline in the Northeast and 543 miles in Canada.

AGT and Maritimes filed for a certificate to construct Atlantic Bridge in 2015. Although approved by federal regulators in January 2017, AGT took three more years to bring the project online following opposition from environmental groups.

Since coming into service in late 2020, the Weymouth compressor has experienced two unplanned outages. The first occurred immediately after in-service when emergency shutdowns led to a release of gas into the air. The force majeure lasted from Oct. 1, 2020, through Jan. 24. A second force majeure was declared in April.