Fish & Richardson Pro Bono Attorneys Assist in Successful Appeal of Permit For Enbridge Unit Pipeline Facility

A group of pro bono attorneys from Fish were part of a team of lawyers who successfully appealed the decision by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) to grant a clean air permit for the "Weymouth Compressor Station," a large natural gas pipeline project that was slated to be built in a densely populated residential area south of Boston. Fish represented a group of concerned citizens from the Town of Hingham, who, together with four impacted municipalities and another citizens group from the Town of Weymouth, had opposed the project.

In a decision issued on June 3, 2020, the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston vacated an air pollution permit that had been issued to Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC under the Clean Air Act for a compressor station in Weymouth. The planned station was part of the $1 billion Atlantic Bridge natural gas pipeline that would have transported fracked gas from Pennsylvania to eastern Canada. The First Circuit found that the MA DEP wrongly approved the permit because it had failed to perform a proper cost-benefit analysis before approving Algonquin's less expensive but more polluting pollution control design.

The court remanded the case back to the MA DEP to conduct a more complete analysis of the best available pollution control technology. Fish worked with the firms of Miyares & Harrington LLP and Morrison Mahoney LLP who represented the municipalities and other citizens' group respectively. The case was reported as Town of Weymouth et al. v. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, 2020 WL 2904672.

Larry Kolodney, Adam Kessel, Natalie Galley, Eda Stark, and Kayleigh McGlynn led the case for Fish. For more information, visit Law360.