Assessing Impacts on Public Health

A Statement from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council:

MAPC is currently wrapping up a health impact assessment of a proposed natural gas compressor station in the Town of Weymouth. When we agreed to facilitate the HIA for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), we knew that the Fore River compressor station proposal was controversial and would - rightly - draw scrutiny.

We would like to express our appreciation for the robust civic engagement that this process has stimulated and for the care and attention that community members have taken to participate and inform themselves about the compressor station.

As facilitators of the health impact assessment, we ask what the potential effects - positive and negative - of the compressor station could be. It is the same question we ask when we conduct any HIA. We then try to offer solutions to mitigate adverse results and amplify positive ones. The assessment will paint a picture of what could happen if the station is built so that decision-makers are aware of and consider potential health implications. For more information about MAPC's health impact assessment process, visit www.mapc.org/our-work/expertise/public-health/health-impact-assessments.

This process launched in Spring 2018, and since then, we have held two community meetings and assembled an advisory committee made up of community members, government representatives, and subject matter experts who have met monthly to provide advice and guidance. The HIA process now moves into the reporting phase and will go through the MDPH and MassDEP for final review and issuance.

We invite residents to continue to provide feedback on the health impact assessment here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/foreriver.

Read the final assessment by checking this website or signing up for our mailing list here.

Latest Updates

The second community meeting for the Health Impact Assessment was held on Thursday, Nov. 15. View materials and documents from both community meetings and six advisory committee meetings at the link below.

On Nov. 21, the Department of Environmental Protection's (MassDEP) Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution issued recommended decisions for three issues of a Chapter 91 Waterways Written Determination Appeals Case.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) are collaborating to prepare a health impact assessment (HIA) of a proposed natural gas compressor station in the Town of Weymouth, Massachusetts. The station is proposed as part of a private-sector energy infrastructure investment plan and is subject to federal and state approvals, including an air quality permit.

The HIA will be a systematic process to determine:

  1. The potential health effects of a proposed change to the Fore River area
  2. What can help create the healthiest outcomes in relation to the proposed changes

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is facilitating the HIA and the community engagement process that is part of the assessment. The target completion date is November 2018 so that the HIA report is available for MassDEP to review in their permit decision, which is due January 2019.