You may have heard that a Louisiana based energy company, Kinder Morgan, is proposing a 250-mile, high-pressure gas pipeline that would carry fracked gas* from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, through New York, entering Massachusetts in Richmond, Berkshire County, and travel north through Franklin and Worcester Counties to the gas interconnect in Dracut, Middlesex County.
Clarkdale Fruit Farms Rally
Protesters from the Rolling March to Stop the Pipeline handed off the "pipeline march" to the next round of protesters marching across Massachusetts to the State House in Boston.
Considerable citizen opposition has been expressed by those whose personal property would be affected by the pipeline route, as well as by citizens who are concerned about environmental impacts and other related issues relative to the entire route.
As Friends Network facilitators, we felt we should bring this proposal to your attention and provide you with links to both sides of the issue. Our goal is to help you become well informed and, if you desire, express your opinion to your legislators and to the Patrick Administration.
While the exact route for this pipeline has not yet been determined, several state owned properties are being considered for pipeline rights of way and compressor stations where considerable construction will take place. Among these are the Tolland State Forest, Sandisfield State Forest, Spectacle Pond, Otis State Forest and Warwick State Forest.
From the maps created by the Massplan
and Nashoba Conservation Trust
, the proposed pipeline would intersect with 72.2 miles of core habitat, and 37.7 miles of secondary habitat, 30.9 miles of core waters (206 wetlands), 13 public water supplies, 2 scenic/protected rivers, and 4 wellhead protected areas, and 8.63 miles of secondary waters including 34 vernal pools and 12 aquifers.
The proposed pipeline would cross through multiple private properties as well as conservation lands, including multiple wetlands and at least 5 of the town’s drinking water aquifers. It would cross under the Nashua River on the East as well as the Nissitissit River on the North.
Twenty-five towns in Massachusetts have passed non-binding resolutions opposing the new pipeline. Many homeowners have resisted having their land surveyed and are organizing against the pipeline. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities can overrule individuals and municipalities who refuse to allow access through their lands.
Upcoming Public Forum
Public Information Forum and Panel Discussion
Tuesday, August 19, 7 - 9 pm
The Community Church of North Orange, MA
Panelists will include
Leigh Youngblood of Mt. Grace and Attorney Tom Lesser
Northeast Gas Pipeline Overview
The Dracut Interconnect is already the terminal for the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline Company, transporting gas from Canada, and the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, which brings gas to the northeast from Texas, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. The Algonquin Gas Transmission Company receives gas processed at the Northeast Gateway liquefied natural gas import terminal located 10-miles offshore of Massachusetts for distribution in the northeast.
Concerns have been raised that Kinder Morgan will export gas to foreign ports from Massachusetts since a pipeline already leads from Dracut to the offshore terminal. According to Alan Fore, a public relations specialist with Kinder Morgan, “Exports are a possibility.”
A separate project is being proposed to add a 3.8-mile, 36-inch diameter storage loop to one of Sandisfield’s two existing gas lines. Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Map
Links to Pipeline Info
* Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well. (Source: BBC News)