State regulators will install a permanent air monitoring station in Weymouth to detect changes in air quality related to a natural gas compressor station under construction nearby.
The monitoring station will collect data on nitrogen dioxide, fine particulate matter, ozone, and volatile organic compounds "consistent with EPA monitoring regulations and guidance," the State Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) said in a statement. The station will also record wind speed, temperature and direction.
Protesters have picketed the construction site a number of times since ground was broken in December, saying that gas released from the station will pollute the surrounding area.
State Senator Patrick O'Connor, who represents Weymouth, said it has taken four years to get the monitoring station approved.
"This is small victory in what's been a tremendous war between communities and natural gas energy companies," he said.
MassDEP said it's evaluating several potential locations for the station and will work with the City of Weymouth in selecting the site. In mid-February, the state will start gathering data from a temporary air monitoring station at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) pump station location in Weymouth.
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