North Quabbin Pipeline Action, (NQPA), will continue its work to stop the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP gas pipeline which could still run through parts of Franklin and Berkshire Counties as well as towns in southern New Hampshire. Although Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) changed the proposed route in early December, several area towns are still impacted. These include Erving, Montague, Northfield, and Warwick.
In Northfield, the proposed alternative route runs for approximately eight miles to a northwestern corner of Warwick and then into Winchester, NH. In Northfield, Kinder Morgan/TGP is proposing to build an 80,000hp compressor station which involves taking 20-30 acres for the station as it runs through Northfield. In these area towns, protected land is still in the proposed path of the pipeline. In Montague, the proposed pipeline passes through Montague Plains, a sensitive environmental area which is a designated MA Wildlife Management area.
NQPA will hold a public meeting in January to discuss what it means for a town to have a possible compressor station built by Kinder Morgan/TGP. Other developments concerning the alternative route into New Hampshire will also be discussed along with strategies to continue contacting state legislators and other officials about protected land. Leigh Youngblood, executive director of Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, pointed out recently that the route of the proposed pipeline still crosses protected land in this area and in Berkshire County.
In the past several weeks people in area towns wrote over 400 letters to state senators in districts not on the proposed pipeline route asking them to uphold Article 97 of the Massachusetts State Constitution. It is not only protected land in Franklin County that is affected but Otis State Forest in the southwestern corner of the state which is on the proposed route of another Kinder Morgan/TGP pipeline project. Article 97 states that people in Massachusetts have the right to the conservation of designated land.
Other concerns involve where the pipeline could go once it crosses into New Hampshire. For example, the proposed alternative route which passes through Richmond, New Hampshire shows the route abutting Camp Wikaya, which is owned and operated by the Athol YMCA. Many local young people attend Camp Wikaya which could be impacted by the proposed alternative route for the Kinder Morgan/TGP gas pipeline.
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