Jamaica Plain residents carried out a creative protest against what they see as a dangerous high-pressure gas pipeline slated for next-door West Roxbury.
Here’s part of a press release from the opponents of the project:
In the spirit of Paul Revere, a group calling themselves the “Parkway Pipeline Prevention League,” have drawn attention to the dangers of the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline. On the morning of May 15, they painted a bright red “Freedom Trail” along the pipeline route with several signs saying “No Spectra,” a reference to the Houston-based energy corporation slated to start work digging up West Roxbury streets in June. The paint is water-soluble.
JP residents Andrée Zaleska and Chuck Collins carried out the protest garbed in road-worker gear.
Federal regulators have already approved the pipeline, which runs next to a quarry where blasting is carried out.
“We feel an urgent need to alert our neighbors,” Zaleska said in statement. “This pipeline would present a clear and present danger, both because of local health and safety risks – and the reality of growing climate change and weird weather.”
City Councilor Matt O’Malley, who represents JP and West Roxbury, called the pipeline “the biggest issue in southwest Boston” at a teach-in held by opponents at Theodore Parker Church in Westie.
A spokesperson for Spectra Energy said that the company is committed to “respectful ongoing engagement” with the communities it serves.
“Spectra Energy/Algonquin Gas has been operating safely in the region for more than 60 years,” said Marylee Hanley, director of stakeholder outreach. “We will be bringing clean, reliable, domestic natural gas to our customers.”
Hanley said the disputed location next to the quarry is because that’s where National Grid needs the gas supply to be to reach customers.
“The pipeline will be built to meet or exceed all federal rules and regulations,” she said.
[Editor’s note: We’ve updated this item with statements from Spectra Energy.]