Mothers in Massachusetts are holding the governor's administration accountable for a fair and unbiased review of the state's gas infrastructure, following last September’s gas explosions in Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley.
Debbie New of Mothers Out Front still holds hope the review will reflect the public’s interest. “There's an opportunity now for our DPU that hired them — and that's on the Independent Review Panel — to demonstrate that they're working for the public, not the utilities, by giving us a comprehensive, transparent report.”
Mothers Out Front Claire Corcoran and Claire Humphrey met with Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz’s Legislative Director, Ernesto Reyes Hernandez, Monday afternoon to advocate for our FUTURE bill and carbon pricing.
Pictured: Claire Corcoran, Ernesto Reyes Hernandez and Claire Humphrey
On Thursday, January 10th, two members of the Mothers Out Front Worcester team and the organizer attended a public information session hosted by the City of Worcester for residents and business owners in the Green Island neighborhood. The construction of Polar Park, one of the largest developments in Worcester’s history and new home to the Boston’s Red Sox minor league baseball team, will require new infrastructure work and relocation of underground lines.
Gaylen Moore talking to the Eversource representative
The Worcester moms went to the information session and spoke to a representative from Eversource, the WooSox, and a city councilor, to advocate for existing gas leaks to be repaired, while street repair takes place. The Eversource representative agreed about the importance of fixing gas leaks! The moms will follow-up with an email to the representative with a summary of the conversation and to reiterate our commitment to the issue of gas leaks. Prior to this hearing, the Worcester team also submitted public comments to MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency) asking for clarity around Eversource's commitment to fixing any leaks they find, while conducting street reconstruction.
On January 17th, three representatives of Worcester's Mothers Out Front team met with the Worcester Mayor and Superintendent in the Mayor's office. Worcester's Mothers Out Front co-coordinators, Gaylen Moore and Patricia Kirkpatrick, worked for weeks with the Mayor and Superintendent regarding the gas leak audit, commissioned by Mothers Out Front in December 2018, to invite them to a dialogue on this issue. Joined by our newest member of the team, Mary Flynn, the three moms sat down with Mayor Petty and Superintendent Binienda to talk about the work the Worcester moms have been doing on the issue of unrepaired gas leaks in the city.
Encouraged by the momentum of gathering over eighty petition signatures from Worcester residents to address the issue of gas leaks over the summer, the Worcester team conducted a gas leak audit in early December 2018 to confirm the existence of gas leaks around select Worcester Public School buildings. The gas leak audit confirmed the existence of gas leaks within 50 feet of the five school buildings and offered a few recommendations for the school administration and Eversource. The meeting with the Mayor and Superintendent gave the moms the opportunity to share the findings and recommendations of the audit, educate both the Mayor and Superintendent about the risks of unrepaired gas leaks, as well as talk about the obligation that utilities have to repair gas leaks within 50 feet of school zones. It was the first time that the moms had the opportunity to sit down with two important decision makers in the City of Worcester and secure their support towards the goal of fixing leaks around school zones. It was also the first opportunity that both the Mayor and Superintendent had to hear about the mission and organizing of Mothers Out Front Worcester and be introduced to our moms.
Mothers Out Front members (on the right) with Mayor Petty and Superintendent Binienda (on the left)
Mothers Out Front in the news!
Environmental groups including 350 Massachusetts, Mothers Out Front and Massachusetts Power Forward have been involved with the fight against the compressor station and were at the rally.
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January 12, 2019 -
WEYMOUTH:Clutching pickets, a group of residents, activists and politicians ardently against a proposed North Weymouth natural-gas compressor station held a rally on the banks of the Fore River on Saturday afternoon....Environmental groups including 350 Massachusetts, Mothers Out Front and Massachusetts Power Forward have been involved with the fight against the compressor station and were at the rally.
November 16, 2018 Mothers Go To Quincy - a personal account
Twenty-eight mothers and grandmothers made their way yesterday, by Red Line and car, to Quincy High School, south of Boston. We came to support Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station. Joining FRRACS at the school entrances, we held ‘NO WEYMOUTH COMPRESSOR’ signs, connected with each other and those who were entering.
Photo Credit: Susan Redlich
In spite of the incipient snow storm, Fore River residents and allies poured into the meeting as 7:00 pm approached - filling the large space to hear the Health Impact Assessment report and have their questions answered.
Photo credit: David Backer
Thank you to Phil McKenna from Inside Climate News for this thoughtful analysis of the situation facing nearly 9,000 homes in the Merrimack Valley. Environmental advocates are calling for a "green new deal" that would shift thousands of homes off natural gas and onto electric heating.
Thinking Bigger, with Help from a River
Zeyneb Magavi, research director for the energy efficiency and clean energy advocacy group HEET and a member of Mothers Out Front, said the collapse of the gas system in the three communities calls for a bigger, more outside-the-box solution.
She is proposing a district heating system with an unusual heat source: the Merrimack River, which runs through Lawrence and skirts North Andover.
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From our friends at Conservation Law Foundation, written by Bradley M. Campbell—read the case for why it's time to break our addiction to fossil fuels.