March 14, 2016
 
 
 
 
DPU Hearings on
Kinder Morgan's Request
for Survey Access


Three different dockets have been filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for Kinder Morgan to gain permission to survey specific properties that have denied permission:

— DPU Docket 16-01 Geotechnical Survey
With respect to 23 landowners’  properties where they want to conduct geotechnical surveys (and additionally seek permission to do everything but vernal pool surveys).


— DPU Docket 16-02 Vernal Pool Survey

With respect to vernal pool surveys on 18 properties (and they also seek to do everything else besides geotechnical surveys).

— DPU Docket 16-03 Affected Properties - Other Surveys
With respect to “everything else” on 408 properties — meaning civil, archeological, cultural resource, wetlands and endangered/rare species surveys.

Six hearings on these dockets have been scheduled across the state, starting March 29 and extending through April 14. The deadline to comment on them by email or snail mail ends on May 6, 2016.

» See Hearing Schedule and Comment Deadline


» Read more about the hearings, procedure and preparing comments


Remember, these other DPU Dockets are still open for comment
Electric Bill Tariffs to Subsidize Pipeline Costs

• Docket #16-05 - National Grid capacity on Access Northeast
• Docket #16-07 - National Grid capacity on Northeast Energy Direct
      Comment Deadline May 11, 2016

• Docket #15-181 - Eversource capacity on Access Northeast
     Comment Deadline May 23, 2016

» Read more about these issues

FERC grants Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for CT Expansion

FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2016 — The Order Issuing Certificate to Tennessee Gas (Kinder Morgan) for the CT Expansion project was published on the FERC docket. 

A particularly troubling item in the Order is #151:
151.  Any state or local permits issued with respect to the jurisdictional facilities authorized herein must be consistent with the conditions of this certificate.  We encourage cooperation between interstate pipelines and local authorities.  However, this does not mean that state and local agencies, through application of state or local laws, may prohibit or unreasonably delay the construction/installation or operation of facilities approved by this Commission.[1]
 [1] See, e.g., Schneidewind v. ANR Pipeline Co., 485 U.S. 293 (1988); Dominion Transmission, Inc. v. Summers, 723 F.3d 238, 243 (D.C. Cir. 2013) (holding state and local regulations is preempted by the NGA to the extent it conflicts with federal regulation, or would delay the construction and operation of facilities approved by the Commission); and Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P., 52 FERC ¶ 61,091 (1990) and 59 FERC ¶ 61,094 (1992).
More thoughts and details to follow on how this will play out regarding Article 97 of the Articles of Amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution, and as likely calls for rehearing and appeals ensue.

Top priority is to ensure that tree cutting does not commence while all the legalities and potential appeals are heard out. There may be requests for stays and/or injunctions to prevent tree cutting. Otherwise, the next step for intervenors will be to request a rehearing with FERC.

It is worth noting that TGP requested an expedited decision from FERC so that it could complete all tree-cutting for the project by March 31st (to comply with the Endangered Species Act protection of bats). However, the 404 Water Quality Certificate from the Army Corps and 401 Water Quality Certificates for Massachusetts and Connecticut have not been issued.  We recently saw FERC decline to authorize tree cutting in New York for the Constitution Pipeline because the 401 Water Quality Certificate there is still pending.  We hope that similar logic will prevail for Massachusetts and Connecticut.

» Kinder Morgan's Connecticut Expansion wins federal approval
    by Mary Serreze, MassLive.com

Gill, Northfield send money
to help Montague fight pipeline
Each allocate $5,000 to county’s only municipality granted intervenor status

By RACHEL RAPKIN and LISA SPEAR, Greenfield Recorder Staff

The towns of Northfield and Gill each allocated $5,000 this week to support Montague’s efforts against the controversial Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline.

Out of the eight Franklin County towns the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.’s controversial project is proposed to cross, Montague was the only municipality granted permission to intervene in Berkshire Gas Co.’s request to buy gas from the NED project. The state Department of Public Utilities must approve Berkshire Gas tying into the NED pipeline.
Pipeline opponents hope that denying the NED project prospective customers in Massachusetts, like Berkshire Gas, it will help kill the pipeline which its builder’s contend is largely to supply New England.

Montague is now a full legal intervenor in hearings before the state Department of Public Utilities, which must approve the retail gas company buying gas from the proposed NED project as it passes through the state.

» Does your town want to support Montague in the fight? 
Contact Montague’s Pipeline Liaison, Ariel Elan

NY Senators urge FERC to reject NED pipeline
NY'ers bear the environmental & health risks but reap no benefits


Albany, N.Y. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, today urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reject the current permit application for the Northeast Energy Pipeline (NED) pipeline project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan.

“I keep an open mind on energy infrastructure projects, but in this case it seems that too many residents’ quality of life, health and safety are being compromised for a pipeline that has not demonstrated any long-term benefit to the communities it impacts. We have asked the company multiple times to consider less impactful sites for the compressor stations, and to demonstrate the benefits to New Yorkers, but they have failed to satisfactorily address either concern,” said Senator Schumer.

“The NED pipeline represents a redundant expansion of natural gas infrastructure in New York State,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “The potential impacts to the communities and their residents along the proposed route far outweigh any stated benefit. It remains unclear if NYS rate payers will ever benefit from this proposal, but what is clear, the health, safety and quality of life of hundreds of New Yorkers could forever be altered.”

» Read more
Constitution Pipeline delayed absent NY permit

Jon Campbell, jcampbell1@gannett.com
Press Sun & Bulletin, March 10, 2016


ALBANY — A natural-gas pipeline that would carry shale gas from northeastern Pennsylvania to major pipelines in New York has been delayed for up to a year.

The Constitution Pipeline Co. announced Thursday it is delaying the planned opening of the 124-mile pipeline to the second half of 2017, pointing to a pending water-quality permit application with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.


The Constitution Pipeline, which is slated to run through eastern Broome County on its way to Schoharie County, had been slated to open as soon as this October.


FRACKED GAS HIGHWAYS: Pipelines feed demand, rattle neighbors
In a statement, the pipeline owners said they will not be able to complete the necessary tree cutting in New York prior to March 31, a key deadline to avoid issues with migrating birds. While the company has finished its tree felling in Pennsylvania, it's waiting on a state water-quality permit before it can begin in New York.

"Constitution anticipates beginning limited mainline construction in the summer of 2016," the company wrote. "Full mainline construction would continue after October 1 to minimize and avoid adverse impacts to migratory birds and the Northern Long Eared Bat."

» Read full article

Activists from across Northeast urge NY to deny final permit

Stop the Pipeline, and others working to oppose the Constitution Pipeline urge everyone in the Northeast to continue calling on the Cuomo administration to deny the 401 Water Quality Certificate, effectively killing the project. Daily calls to  and emails to  are encouraged.

A rally in Albany is planned for April 5th to make a final push for Cuomo to officially deny the permit. Leaders from across the pipeline fight will be speaking.

TUESDAY — APRIL 5, 2016 — ALBANY, NY
Stop the Pipeline (STP) Rally!
The message will be simple and clear – NO 401 for the Constitution Pipeline (CP). Serious fun, meant to convince Cuomo to reject this pipeline once and for all. We stopped CP from cutting trees in NYS. Now we have to put an end to the whole plan.
If there’s no CP, then there’s no NED.
We can do this!
11:30 am to 2:30 pm
East Capitol Park
Albany, NY
Rain location: The Million Dollar Staircase, Capitol Building

Landowner Coalition on NED

Some directly impacted landowners on the NED project across all three states have banded together with the purpose...
"Of offering a platform where directly impacted landowners can become informed, keep up to date and, collaborate on the issues related to knowing and protecting their rights, responding to survey letters and DPU proceedings (MA only), and learning more about easement and eminent domain issues. We also are exploring options the group, as a whole, has to stop the NED project."

We are the Landowner Coalition on NED
Leigh Youngblood, Director of Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, and Polly Ryan, an impacted landowner in Plainfield, MA are organizing the group. 

There is no need to join this coalition in order to benefit from it. We welcome any directly impacted property owners to come to our gatherings if you have an interest in just being better informed and are not sure about joining a coalition. 

If you're interested in getting updates on our activities please contact;
Polly Ryan OR
Leigh Youngblood

Another way you can help us to help you is to
fill out this affected landowner survey.


We are using the FERC definition of directly affected property owner for the purpose of this Needs Assessment;

* Is directly affected (i.e., crossed or used) by the proposed activity, including all facility sites (including compressor stations, valve & meter stations, and all above-ground facilities), rights of way, access roads, pipe and contractor yards, and temporary work-spaces
* Abuts either side of an existing right-of-way or facility site owned in fee by any utility company, or abuts the edge of a proposed facility site or right-of-way which runs along a property line in the area in which the facilities would be constructed, or contains a residence within 50 feet of the proposed construction work area
* Is within one-half mile of proposed compressors or their enclosures or LNG facilities


Pipeline Fight Victories in New Hampshire!
*Update on Pipeline Related Bills from Rep. Jim McConnell*

During the Wednesday and Thursday (March 9th and 10th) Sessions, the New Hampshire House passed two of the pipeline bills.

HB 1148 Relative to pipeline capacity contracts - requires the public utility commission to determine whether any pipeline capacity contract is in the public interest - Passed 208 - 124

HB 1660 Relative to eminent domain for gas pipelines and relative to assessment of the land use change tax for eminent domain takings for energy infrastructure - allows an owner of land to require a pipeline company to take an entire tract of land under eminent domain, allows for pipeline company eminent domain takings to include public lands with consent of the legislative body, and provides for assessment of the land use change tax for certain eminent domain takings of land for energy infrastructure - Passed 235 - 47
Other pipeline bills have been deemed inexpedient to legislate except for HB 1101, which will be the subject of an Interim Study.

HB 1101 Prohibiting charges to New Hampshire residents for the construction of a high pressure gas pipeline - prohibits the imposition of any tariff, tax, or fee on any state resident for the construction of a high pressure gas pipeline - Interim Study

HB 1148 and HB 1660 will be sent to the New Hampshire Senate for their consideration.

FERC Rejects Pacific Connector Pipeline and
Jordan Cove LNG Facility on west coast

On Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied applications from two Delaware companies to site the massive Jordan Cove Energy Project in the Southern Oregon coastal town.

The companies in 2013 announced plans to run a 230-mile-long pipeline from Malin, a small town in Klamath County, to Coos Bay. There, liquefied natural gas from Canada and Colorado would be offloaded into massive tanks before being loaded onto ships bound for China.

"Here, Pacific Connector has presented little or no evidence of need for the Pacific Connector Pipeline," the commission's order stated.

» Read more

FEATURED EVENTS!
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As the FERC, DPU and DOE processes continue, there will be lots more information to share with local communities. We'll keep providing 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.

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