On Friday, October 16, Conservation Law Foundation submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concerning its environmental review of Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s Northeast Energy Direct Project. This project would build a large new natural gas pipeline across Western Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, joining Kinder Morgan’s existing pipeline system in Dracut, MA. CLF has serious concerns about both the lack of need for this project and the environmental impacts that it would bring.
In order to accurately assess the need for the pipeline capacity that this project would bring and alternatives to it, CLF has asked FERC to stay its review of this pipeline and perform a comprehensive review of all of the proposed pipeline projects in New England. CLF also asked FERC to include these elements in its environmental review, whether in combination with the other pipelines or alone:
- Study all reasonable alternatives to the proposed project – including siting and routing alternatives and the no-action alternative – and provide a well-supported rationale for excluding any alternatives from a detailed review.
- Ensure that the “purpose and need” of the review is not defined too narrowly, to facilitate an adequately broad alternatives analysis and consideration of available alternatives even if they run counter to the interests of the pipeline company.
- Comprehensively assess the greenhouse gas impacts of the proposed project and alternatives.
- Comprehensively assess the indirect, secondary and cumulative impacts of the proposed project and alternatives.
CLF will continue to monitor the review of new pipeline projects in New England, and challenge state and federal actions that do not adequately account for the greenhouse gas, energy, and other environmental impacts of natural gas pipelines.
You can find our comments to FERC here.