Rehoboth compressor station put on hold

REHOBOTH, Mass. (WPRI) – Controversial plans to build a new compressor station in Rehoboth as part of a natural-gas pipeline expansion have been put on hold as the company behind the project tries to figure out how to finance it.

Enbridge Inc. announced Thursday it had withdrawn its application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the pipeline project, known as Access Northeast.

As part of the project, Enbridge had proposed building a compressor station near the Attleboro border in Rehoboth. But town residents voted overwhelmingly against the idea in a nonbinding referendum held in April.

Enbridge spokesman Arthur Diestel called the decision to pause the project “a direct result of the lack of consistent energy policy across the region,” and emphasized that the company would now focus on how to “address gaps in legal authority” that have thwarted the project so far.

The company has said Access Northeast would help alleviate a shortage of natural gas in New England during the winter months. Opponents in Rehoboth cite environmental impacts and noise as among their concerns.

The company “looks forward to restarting the pre-filing process as soon as possible,” Diestel said.

A map shows the location of the proposed Rehoboth compressor station. (credit: Spectra)

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook