February 8, 2016
Bishop takes Knight;
a major move in the export game

On February 5, 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) approved export permits for two companies ( Pieridae and Bear Head)  to ship US gas to Canada via the Maritimes and Northeast (M&NE) pipeline. This pipeline, partially owned by Spectra, connects to the gas hub at Dracut where the Northeast Energy Direct main transmission line would connect.  Segment L of Northeast Energy Direct – Maritimes Delivery Line is the pipeline lateral connecting to the M&NE system.

While it’s stark to see it in print, no one can say it was a surprise. For two years now, those of us at No Fracked Gas in Mass, Berkshire Environmental Action Team, StopNED and MassPLAN have been making presentations about the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) proposal and making the link to exports.

» Read more about the export permits and Senator Markey's response on impacts

Elizabeth Warren Speaks Out
About FERC and Pipelines

On February 1, 2016, Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke in Springfield, MA as part of her regular meet and greet sessions. There was a strong pipeline presence in the group of 350-400 people who came to hear her speak. Though she offered no concrete steps she plans to take, it was her strongest statement yet and an indication that she welcomes further engagement in the fight.

Earlier in her remarks, she named the two best aides to reach to get messages to her:
— Jeremiah Thompson, email
— Everett Handford, email

From State Rep. Steve Kulik:

I am very pleased that Senator Elizabeth Warren was in western Massachusetts this week and spoke directly and forcefully about her concerns regarding the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project. Her calling out the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its historical bias in favor of pipeline projects is a welcome call to action for all of us who oppose this dangerous and unnecessary project which threatens our environment, and public health, and safety. Many thanks to Senator Warren for speaking out so strongly and joining our fight; your leadership and active engagement is important to our work to stop this pipeline.

» See video of Senator Warren's statements
Deerfield, MA presentation
EHP Health Effects of Gas Infrastructure

On January 30, 2016, we were fortunate to have a team from Environmental Health Project (EHP) make a presentation on the Health Effects of Gas Infrastructure at Frontier High School in Deerfield, MA. EHP were the researchers behind the Minisink Compressor Station health study (linked below), one of the few studies of actual community health affects of a compressor station operating in town. Their presentation lends invaluable statistical medical information for people to speak to their own Board of Health, or other elected officials on all levels.

EHP is available in New Haven for those interested in following up. It’s best to contact Celia Lewis directly: clewis@environmentalhealthproject.org

Massachusetts DPU Issues and Hearings

There are three currently active issues for Massachusetts residents and the MA Department of Public Utilities.

(1) Kinder Morgan has initiated proceedings at the Massachusetts DPU to gain survey access to properties where landowners have not granted permission. » Hearing Schedule & Written Comment Info

(2) National Grid’s electrical distribution companies in MA are seeking DPU approval of capacity agreements on NED (and Access Northeast).

(3) Local Gas Distribution Companies (LDCs), Berkshire Gas and Columbia Gas are filing
to be able to buy gas from the Supply Path section of NED.

» Learn more about participating in all of these important issues that could greatly affect the outcome of the pipeline issue.

Call for Action on Constitution Pipeline

The Constitution Pipeline, proposed to run alongside the Supply Path of Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct from Pennsylvania to Wright NY, has received it’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, but has not received it’s 401 Water Quality Certificate from the State of NY.  This is holding up construction of the pipeline.  The pipeline company applied to FERC to allow tree-cutting of the pipeline path in anticipation of eventual approval. FERC denied them permission to cut in New York, but allowed it for the 25 miles of pipeline path in Pennsylvania, even though it’s well within the realm of possibility that NY can deny it’s final permit – blocking the project.

Along this 25 mile swath in Pennsylvania are thousands and thousands of trees, including the mature sugar-bush of the Holleran Farm. Because of migratory bird statutes, cutting can only happen between now and March 31, so they are in a rush to get it done!
  Cutting crews have started near the Holleran property. There is a call out for people to come and block the destruction of miles of forest and preserve this operating maple sugar farm. They will need daily help for at least a few weeks.

2pm Sunday, February 7, 2016
From Ray Kemble– Chainsaw crews next door to the Hollerans now.
RED ALERT! This is the last stand.

The time to come here is NOW!! Another tree cutting crew is here.
Hollerhan, 2131 Three Lakes Rd., New Milford PA
GPS: 41.827, -75.758 — Local contacts:
Megan Holleran: 570-709-3268
Alex Lotorto: 570-269-9589

Windsor Compressor Station Site Hikes
Thanks to funding from the Central Berkshire Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, BEAT is offering educational hikes on MA Fish & Wildlife land in Windsor adjacent to the site proposed by Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. for a massive gas compressor station. The purpose of the hikes - which are free and open to the public - is to educate and inform participants about the proposed compressor station and its potential impacts to the environment, and to conduct a wildlife tracking study to document the diversity of wildlife that exists on these lands.  

The hikes are currently scheduled for:

Wildlife and the Compressor Station
Saturday, Feb 13th  •  Friday, Feb 19th •  Friday, March 18th

Vernal Pool Survey
Saturday, May 7th

For more information, please email elia@thebeatnews.org.

Check No Fracked Gas in Mass' Events page often for more

Visit No Fracked Gas in Mass' Ongoing Events page for weekly vigils and protests

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Fighting the Pipelines
Thanks to Your Help!

As the FERC, DPU and DOE processes continue, there will be lots more information to share with local communities. We're just starting a new year (or possibly longer) of research and guidance to help keep everyone informed and participating in the fight. This requires substantial ongoing operating funds to keep us working at optimal effectiveness.

No Fracked Gas in Mass is a program of Berkshire Environmental Action Team. Donations made through our direct online Donation button or mailed in check are tax deductible!