BOSTON - State Department of Environmental Protection officials acknowledged under oath Monday that they were prompted to revisit key air-quality tests nine months after receiving the results because of a freelance journalist’s reporting that highlighted inconsistencies in the data tied to a proposed Weymouth natural gas compressor station.
The department’s decision to ask for updated test results in May and a subsequent weeks-long wait to disclose that information upended an appeals hearing on an air-quality permit issued for the compressor station and led hearing officer Jane Rothchild to threaten consequences and extend the hearing.
The process resumed Monday, but the proceedings did not bring a decision in the case. Rothchild now wants to extend the final deadline for a decision by two weeks given the matter’s “voluminous” nature. However, Rothchild said the hearing did reveal a “somewhat unfortunate process” within the department itself and one that cast the department in a “not so favorable light” on a day when protesters slammed the department’s work. (read more)
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