Kinder Morgan starts sending second requests for survey, mentions gaining access via DPU
This advice is offered as a guideline based on our research and advice from similarly-oriented environmental groups. It is not meant to substitute for legal consulting on your particular circumstances if you feel its necessary.
Lots of landowners who have denied Tennessee Gas Pipeline's initial request to survey have recently received a second letter, stating that they would like you to comply, or they will take the case to the Department of Public Utilities. The request that they'll file with the DPU is still just for permission to survey, NOT for easement rights to your property. That is still another process to come later and continuing to deny access will not hurt your standing in later easement negotiations if the pipeline project progresses to that stage.
You can still deny permission, and they will then be forced petition the DPU to gain access to your land for survey. This process can take months and includes your right to a hearing in which you can plead your case to not allow them onto your land, with rights to conduct cross examination and to appeal the findings of the hearing.
Nashoba Conservation Trust has a very informative page on the DPU vs. eminent domain process.
INFORMATION FOR LANDOWNERS
We have a new Landowners' Resources page under the Resources tab on our site. We will continue to update as we find and verify more detailed information of both the DPU and FERC processes. And remember, it's never to late to Rescind Permission to Survey if you've already granted it.
Videos of informational and select board meetings now available
Local Informational and Selectboard Meetings including meetings in Cummington, Montague, Ashby and Plainfield.
Conferences and forums, including the Quadrennial Energy Review in Hartford, CT and the Gubernatorial Candidate's Forum on Energy and Environment.
Call to action by activist
and conservation groups
from Green Dracut Reporter regarding
Quadrennial Energy Review Public Comments:
"Calling all organizations: you have 60 days, or until June 20, 2014, to submit public comments on the US Department of Energy Quadrennial Energy Review meetings that took place in Hartford and Providence on Monday. It would be great to see 20 or 30 organizations submitting brief comments on this meeting after the fact because many Massachusetts environmental groups did not send any representative.
In the comment, besides talking about the impact in our towns, we can also convey the message that with more energy storage and/or more building efficiency, it will not be necessary to add new pipelines just to take care of demand in the 2 coldest months of the year. The DOE could help the Northeast become a testing ground for the new smart grid innovations that the DOE is now funding.
Once export terminals go into operation in 2015 (starting with a new terminal in Sabine Pass, Louisiana and if approved, another one in Nova Scotia), natural gas prices are expected to increase. Investors in the industry are very excited about the INCREASE in prices (see: http://seekingalpha.com/article/2151253-is-the-pendulum-swinging-from-oil-back-to-natural-gas-part-2?ifp=0 and http://goldborolng.com/about-lng/lng-export-markets/ ).
Full ground rules for public comments are here.
And to make it easier for the QER staff to put your items online, they prefer that you put your comments in PDF form (which can include web links) as an attachment, and include a cover email with things like contact info that you do not want made public.
Conservation, Environmental and Energy Organizations Speak Out Officially
Audubon letter to deny permission to survey on their lands
April 18, 2014
"Mass Audubon respectfully declines the requested permission and does not grant any permission to access or survey these or any other Mass Audubon properties, at this time.
We have a number of reasons for this decision. In summary, our key considerations include the fact that there has not been any public process at the local, state or federal levels of government examining the purported need for the proposed gas pipeline; no alternatives such as smaller-scale improvements to gas distribution infrastructure have been proposed; and there has been no analysis of potential alignments for any essential infrastructure improvements. We are writing to the Governor of Massachusetts and his agencies requesting the initiation of an open, transparent, and deliberative process to address these important energy resource-planning issues."
READ MORE ...
North Quabbin Energy's statement on the pipeline
North Quabbin Energy stands opposed to this possible new gas pipeline that would run through many towns of Berkshire, Franklin and Worcester counties. Much of the land that this proposed pipeline might cross is rural farmland, forests and designated conservation lands. We do not believe that any new gas pipelines should be built across Massachusetts.
READ MORE ...
Nashoba Conservation Trust's statement
NCT believes the effort to meet Massachusetts’ ongoing energy needs should not come at the expense of assets benefitting the public good, especially when less invasive, less hazardous, more sustainable and potentially less costly solutions are already in place or can be developed. As noted in the 2009 Report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Land Conservation, signed by the six New England Governors, conservation lands “…may well be viewed as the green infrastructure that future generations of our citizens will require for their health, well-being, and prosperity.”
READ MORE ...
Wendell Open Space Committee submits non-binding resolution
The Wendell Open Space Committee voted unanimously on March 27, 2014 to submit a non-binding resolution concerning the proposed pipeline to the Selectboard and request that it be considered at a future town meeting. Members of the Conservation Commission were present and expressed interest in co- sponsoring this article.
READ MORE ...
Mount Grace writes to Governor Patrick
After being contacted for survey back in March, Executive Director Leigh Youngblood wrote to the Governor, imploring him to honor Article 97 of the Massachusetts State Constitution.
READ THE LETTER ...
Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition Pipeline Letter
On behalf of its 129 member organizations, the MLTC expressed concern to the Governor for the proposed path of the pipeline through both public and privately held conservation land.
READ THE LETTER ...
Beaver Brook Association releases statement on the lateral line headed for their land in Hollis, NH
Beaver Brook Association is a land conservation organization in Hollis, New Hampshire, and is in the planned path of a lateral offshoot from the Northeast Expansion pipeline.
From all appearances, land conservation and preservation holdings throughout New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are being targeted by Tennessee Gas, completely the opposite reason for which the organizations and restrictions were created. If this tactic is successful, it will be repeated in case after case.
READ MORE ...
If you are involved with Conservation, Land Trusts, Energy Committees and other similar organizations, your organization's voice will be crucial in this fight. As a representative for protected lands, watersheds and waterways, endangered species, the environment or local environmental health, you can register as an Intervenor in the DPU and FERC Hearing processes. This grants more power to speak out than simple public comment, including the ability to file for appeal to findings of the hearings. FERC hearings will only be held after a pipeline company applies for their Certificate of Convenience and Public Necessity. The Northeast Expansion project is still several steps away from application. The DPU process would start soon, but has not yet.
THOUGHTS ON INVOLVING OUR STATE LEGISLATORS
IN DEFENDING CONSERVATION LANDS:
As an organization, or as individuals, engaging state legislators' support is important in pulling the Massachusetts State Constitution into play. As pointed out by Rep. Steve Kulik in an early March article in the Greenfield Recorder, "... it appears that where the pipeline route would affect state-owned conservation land or land on which the state holds development restrictions, there would need to be two-thirds approval of the state House and Senate under Massachusetts Article 97."
Elected officials speak out!
Rep. Denise Andrews of Orange strongly against the pipeline!
“To have a pipeline come through, with compression stations and the upset to the environment, to provide for either the city of Boston or to export, I don’t think we should be doing that — especially export, no way. I’ll do everything I can to represent the people who don’t want it…"
» READ MORE about her bold stance.
Others who have voiced opposition to the proposed Northeast Expansion project or the current operations of the gas industry or FERC as of April 27, 2014 include MA State Reps. Kulik, Ehrlich; State Senators Eldrige, Brewer; Congressman McGovern, Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren. Don't see your elected officials here? Contact them!
CONTACT STATE REPRESENTATIVES
We are hoping to find State Legislators to bring our petition to legislation for the state. Although such a state-wide ban could still be overridden by the powers bestowed by FERC certification of the pipeline, should the Northeast Expansion project ever obtain it, it would be a bold statement of the will of the people that hopefully would add substantial weight to the string of Town Resolutions being voted on at Town Meetings across the state next week. Wherever you are in the state, please consider contacting your State Legislators people to ask them to support opposition to this pipeline!
» Use this link to find our legislators' contact info.
Since this an interstate pipeline under federal purview, support from Congressional members is crucial to. Please write to your representative and our senators to let them know there is strong opposition, especially to FERC's swift approval of so many pipeline projects. The more voices, the better!
If you need some facts and figures to back up your statement, feel free to look over our FAQ section and the fully annotated version on MassPLAN.org. BEAT's presentation slides are also available as a PDF (give it time to load!). Folks who are holding their own local organizational meetings have found these resources handy as well.
Looking for fairs, conferences
and events across the state
We're looking for any large events or fairs anywhere in the state, but especially along the proposed route of the pipeline. Having a table or booth at large gatherings is a great opportunity to get the word out. Please send any information you can find on what's happening in your area.
If you're alreay planning on attending one, and want materials to share information about the pipeline with folks, check out our Resources for Towns & Activists page. The letter size info booklets, postcards and business card info sheets have been particularly popular for spreading the word at large events.
New to the NoFrackedGas mailing list?
Check out our Media Archives page to see what's been happening so far.
Catch up on previous newsletters:
Issue 1 - Action Report: Steps you can take now!
February 22, 2014
Issue 2 - Updates from the Front Line
February 26, 2014
Issue 3 - Act This Week! Contact Your Legislators
March 3, 2014
Issue 4 - Pipeline Petition Now Collecting Signatures!
March 10, 2014
Issue 5 - New Pipeline Route Maps Available
March 18, 2014
Issue 6 - Advice for Action Against the Pipeline
March 31, 2014
Issue 7 - Anti-Pipeline Momentum Builds
April 11, 2014
Issue 8 - Anti-Pipeline Momentum Builds (2)
April 20, 2014
Feel free to share newsletter this widely with neighbors and friends and family across the state. If you received it from a friend, feel free to sign up and join the mailing list.
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