Pipeline: Feeling the ripple effect

Last modified: 1/12/2016 10:15:52 AM
Even though Cathy Lanigan doesn’t live in a town that will be traversed by Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project, she defiantly displays several “Stop the Pipeline” signs on her lawn on Concord Street.

“If I don’t want it in my backyard, why somebody else’s?” she said, citing concerns about the pipeline’s impact on the environment, real estate and land possibly being seized by eminent domain.

Lanigan and other residents are standing with anti-pipeline residents in Rindge, New Ipswich, Mason, Greenville and Temple — the five towns that the pipeline would most directly impact. Meanwhile, officials from the towns of Peterborough, Sharon and Jaffrey and the ConVal School District say they are gathering more information, as they weigh whether to oppose the pipeline.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline, a subsidiary of the Houston-based Kinder Morgan, plans to install a 430-mile long, 36-inch diameter pipeline, from Wright, New York, through southwest New Hampshire, to Dracut, Massachusetts. The pipeline is expected to carry between 1.2 and 2.2 billion cubic feet of Marcellus Shale natural gas per day.

The pipeline would travel through Greenville, Rindge, New Ipswich and Mason. An 80,000-horsepower compressor station — a facility that pressurizes natural gas so it can be moved along the pipeline — is planned to be built on 40 Skinny Cat Road in New Ipswich, less than a half-mile from Temple Elementary School.

Sharon neighbors New Ipswich and Rindge, while Peterborough is about 10 miles from the proposed route. Jaffrey borders Rindge. The only town in the ConVal School District the pipeline would impact is Temple.

Members of the ConVal School Board share concerns about the pipeline, especially because Temple Elementary School, part of the school district, would be in harm’s way of the compressor station should there be an accident there. But, the board has chosen to collect more information before it takes a stance.

“Right now, like a lot of things, there is an awful lot of emotion and lots of information spilling around,” said Chair Butch Estey. “We have to deal with the facts. We can’t jump for the sake of jumping.”

At its April 7 meeting, the board listened to a presentation by Bev Edwards, chair of Temple’s Economic Energy Committee. Edwards, citing safety concerns, asked the board to consider petitions or requests against the pipeline, according to the minutes. Estey said the board realized it would like to learn more from opponents and supporters of the pipeline.

The Peterborough Select Board has not taken a stance on the pipeline. Selectman Ed Juengst expressed concerns about public safety and pollution, although he hesitated to be outright against the pipeline. “I have read the material from both the coalition opposing the pipeline and the proponents,” he wrote in an email. “It has been hard for me to determine who is more correct.”

Juengst put his faith in the government to judge whether the pipeline poses a threat to the environment. Although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an independent agency, will make a judgment about the pipeline proposal, Juengst referred to President Barack Obama’s administration opposing the building of the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Illinois and Texas.

The Sharon Select Board mailed a survey to residents, asking them if they are opposed or in favor of the pipeline, said Chairwoman Linda Paris. Sharon neighbors Rindge and New Ipswich. Paris said the board plans to use the results of the survey to determine whether it should act or not.

Donald MacIsaac, chair of the Jaffrey Select Board, said selectmen haven’t taken any action about the pipeline because it doesn’t directly affect Jaffrey.

Kathleen Peahl, vice chair of the Jaffrey-Rindge School Board, said the board she serves on has not considering taking a position either.

George Duncan of Peterborough said he wants to see more out of his town, elected officials and the public. “From where I’m located, from where I’m sitting, this is very important,” said Duncan, from his home on Elm Street, 10 miles from Temple Elementary School. “There is a certain holistic attitude in a region like this, a certain integrity in a region like this, that is important to maintain.”

“Something like this comes along and destroys [the quality of life] here for no goddamn good reason,” he continued, citing environmental concerns and real estate prices. “These guys in Rindge and New Ipswich get battered, it hurts all of us.”

He would like all of the Monadnock region to show moral support for its brethren in the affected communities. “If you can make enough noise, and organize it, you have a chance,” he said.


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, your source for Peterborough area news.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

20 Grove St.
Peterborough, NH 03458


© 2021 Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy