Department of Public Utilities
denies appeals for intervenor status
So, what now?
Background: There are three dockets before the Massachusetts DPU and one before the New Hampshire PUC. They are applications by local gas distributors for permits to buy gas capacity on the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline.
Their explanations of need for this gas are under question by many, including the Pipe Line Awareness Network for the Northeast (PLAN-NE), an organization of hundreds of citizens, over a dozen State Representatives and municipalities who have hired a regulatory lawyer to challenge these proceedings.
- DPU Docket No. 15-48 (Berkshire Gas)
- DPU Docket No. 15-39 (Columbia Gas)
- DPU Docket No. 15-34 (National Grid)
» View these docket filings by entering the Docket # on this page
» View the Liberty Utilities filings (NH Docket #DG 14-380)
The NH PUC has granted PLAN-NE intervenor status for the Liberty Utility proceedings without limitations.
Despite the efforts of MA State Sen. Stan Rosenberg in pressuring the DPU into holding a second hearing on the Berkshire, and many dozens of informative and passionate statements by elected officials and members of the public, the MA DPU has denied PLAN-NE and Rep. Steve Kulik intervenor status and has denied the appeal on that ruling, effectively denying the people the right to be heard by legal representation of their choice.
The next round of hearings are on June 24-25 (Dockets #15-34, 15-39 & 15-48). Although the public may attend these hearings, they are not allowed to comment. If you attend, please do not bring signs or try to interrupt procedings. There may be chances to appeal procedures later, and disruption may harm our standing to appeal
WHAT YOU CAN DO
— Contact the Legislature about the DPU’s stonewalling
We’re encouraging people to contact the State Legislature and let them know what’s happened with the DPU. Call, write and meet with your elected reps and members of key committees to ask them to give voice to your concerns.
A sample of what you could say:
“The Department of Public Utilities is holding hearings that could significantly and adversely impact my community, dozens of towns across the state and the energy future of MA. I am speaking about the proposal by (name your gas company) to sign a contract with Kinder Morgan, which will lead to the development of the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline – a project opposed by (your town) and thousands of citizens across MA. My interests are not represented in the DPU process, although I am directly affected by the outcome, and attempts to have them represented by legal counsel have been rejected by the DPU. Please help us have voice in this process.”
— Ask for a legislative hearing into the DPU’s denials of intervenorship for Rep. Steve Kulik, PLAN-NE and NEES
— If you’re in a town where there is a moratorium on new gas hookups, ask your legislators (or get your local officials to ask them) to push for an immediate solution to the moratorium – the NED pipeline should not be the only solution considered.
Let’s see if we can use what is arguably the most receptive part of government to put pressure on the DPU to involve the people in the process, since they weren’t swayed by us directly. It might spur legislative hearings and possible remedial legislation that could change the process for the better.
» Contact your legislator – enter your zip code on this page to find yours
» Contact members of Telecom, Utilities and Energy Committee
» Playlist for short videos of the Greenfield June 11 DPU Hearing
• Help Pipe Line Awareness Network for the Northeast, Inc. (PLAN-NE)’s Intervenor Status by becoming a member
In order to strengthen the position of the PLAN-NE as it continues to fight for intervenor status in these proceedings, they want as many members as possible. They will not need to disclose your identity, but it is important that they will be able to attest to the fact that they have ratepayers and affected landowners among their membership. While there is not a minimum financial contribution required to become a member, they do need funding to proceed with the next steps in the battle.
*Please become a member of PLAN-NE today by filling out this form!
• Contact Your Congressional Representatives
— If you’re from MA, NY or PA:
Request that they do the same as their NH counterparts in requesting FERC Scoping Hearings for any town that requests them
— From any state:
Request that the prepare to register as intervenors on the NED Docket when KM files a formal application with FERC in the Fall. As your elected Federal representatives, they should be protecting your interests and representing you during FERC’s deliberations.
COMMENTING ON THE FERC DOCKET
• Comment on the pipeline proposal docket at FERC (learn how). FERC permits pipelines and assigns docket numbers to each proposal. Anyone can comment and you may comment more than once.
- Northeast Energy Direct is #PF14-22
– Connecticut Expansion is #CP14-529
Aside from personal comments on why you don’t support new pipelines, make sure any official documents from your town officials are filed as well (Resolutions, statements of opposition or concern from town boards, planning commissions, conservation commission, etc).
See “Comments and Filings of Note” on MassPLAN.org.
Specific issues you can also comment on:
— A pipeline company is required, upon pre-filing a pipeline proposal, to notify landowners within a half mile of proposed locations for a compressor station. Not only were NED-affected landowners not notified of their possible proximity to a compressor station, none of the Open Houses held by Kinder Morgan were held in communities that may be host to these facilities. Please request that Kinder Morgan hold open houses or public meetings in the towns of Schodack or Nassau, NY; Windsor, MA; Northfield, MA; New Ipswich, NH directly and that when FERC schedules scoping hearings, they hold them in or near these compressor station – affected communities as well.
» See Congressman McGovern’s letter to FERC regarding Northfield
— During the Open Houses, Kinder Morgan representatives stated that they plan to submit another revised set of Resource Reports in June. FERC’s scoping hearings are expected to be scheduled as soon as May. Given the amount of blanks still existing in the current Resource Reports and the fact that there could be substantial changes filed again in June, there’s little point in holding scoping hearings based on incomplete information that might be rendered obsolete after the hearings are held. Please request that FERC delay scoping hearings until AFTER Kinder Morgan files its updated documents, anticipated to be filed in June.
— Any reports of Kinder Morgan-hired surveyors trespassing on land where permission to survey has been denied. If possible, include any police reports, specific date and time and any record of conversations with surveyors.
• Sign the Petition to Ban New Gas Pipelines and Champion Sustainable Energy. Almost 15,000 have already signed – still gathering to present to the new administration!
If you haven't signed since this one started in February 2014, sign it now!
» Sign online
» Print out the petition and some signature sheets, and gather in person. A great way to bring awareness of the issue to town!
• Petition to Gov. Baker on Clean Energy and Climate Change. Just getting started with specific requests on efficiency, clean energy, the tariff, permitting restrictions, protecting Article 97 lands and more
» Sign online
New Music Video from Pipeline Fighters
Erving, MA's very own Morning Star Chenven and Moonlight Davis release video of their new song, "Stop The Pipeline"
» See more pipeline and fracking related songs on our SingAlong page
Events Coming up Soon!
TUESDAY — JUNE 23, 2015 — PEABODY, MA
— Kinder Morgan presentation before the Peabody City Council. Your presence can help bolster our opposition to this dangerous, destructive, unnecessary and unwanted project.
Hope to see you there!
Peabody City Hall
THURSDAY — JUNE 26, 2015 — PELHAM, NH
— Letter writing campaign Kick-Off!! Thumbs Up / Thumbs Down to the local newspaper, FERC, letters to the editors of other papers, state senators and representatives, Londonderry Town Council, Liberty Utilities, Public Utilities Commission, Site Evaluation Committee, US senators and representatives, Governor's office, there are many places that need to be hearing from us, a large number of us, and frequently! Come on Thursday to find out more.
Pelham Public Library
2 S. Valley Road
SATURDAY — JUNE 27, 2015 — RICHMOND, NH
HALT: Hands Across Loved Trails visits the Quint Preserve
» See more on Echo Action's HALT Hikes page!
MONDAY — JUNE 29, 2015 — ERVING, MA
See more events on our site
— CALLING ALL ERVING REGISTERED VOTERS -- REMEMBER TO ATTEND THE SPECIAL TOWN MEETING. Vote to Ban Proposed Pipeline with a proposed route through Erving (Poplar Mt., Erving Town Forest and other lands) before crossing into Northfield.
If you know people in Erving, please remind them to attend to vote YES on Article 18 to Ban the Proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP pipeline project. Call 413-422-1010 for more information.
Erving Elementary School
Check back often - we update as events are announced. Send notices of pipeline related events to email@example.com.
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