West Roxbury pipeline to open, protesters refuse to back down

BOSTON — Despite two years of protests, the West Roxbury pipeline is set to be activated Thursday.

The Spectra pipeline project is a five-mile pipeline. It's a part of a larger, $1 billion project to increase the natural gas supply in New England.

Residents fear it's unsafe and vow to continue to fight the project. They say the pipeline runs near an open quarry that frequently uses dynamite, and say they're afraid there could be an explosion.

"It's really mind boggling that they could do this.  It increases our determination to fight this more and more and more," said resident Catherine.

As recently as Monday, Mayor Marty Walsh and other Boston city officials sent letters to federal energy regulators, as well as the Houston company that owns the pipeline, saying that they failed to share important safety plans with the Boston Police and Boston fire department.

"This pipeline is really governed by the federal government. There's not a lot we can do, there's not a lot the state can do," said Walsh.

Mayor Walsh had previously filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of the project.

Congressman Stepehen Lynch said Thursday that he's not giving up.

"We're going to keep fighting, but I understand we're running out of options here," he said. 
  
Spectra released a statement Wednesday, saying the project facilities meet or exceed federal safety standards and regulations.