Tennessee Gas Pipeline 
puts forth deceptive figures

Last modified: 2/1/2016 6:41:10 PM
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, is trying to fool the federal regulators and the rest of us into thinking that the Northeast Direct gas pipeline will run underneath the existing Eversource powerline easement across southern New Hampshire. Not so!

Nearly all of the pipeline route in New Hampshire will require new easements involving private landowners and public conservation lands. In their application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, they claim that the proposed route uses 173.57 miles of co-location on existing utility easements and only 14.29 miles of new right-of-way. However, TGP’s maps actually reveal that the pipeline will require a completely new right-of-way corridor.

The existing powerline easement is limited to electric and intelligence transmission only, a fact clearly stated in the deeds of properties along the powerline. Therefore, it will be necessary for TGP to acquire an expanded pipeline right-of-way corridor, impacting many hundreds of landowners. One-half to two-thirds of the landowners in affected areas have denied TGP access to survey their properties, and their resistance is well-justified.

The pipeline will destroy miles of forests, wildlife habitat, farmland and orchards, wetlands and water resources. People’s wells, septic systems and yards will be seriously disrupted. It’s likely that any payments private landowners receive for pipeline easements will not compensate them for the diminution of their property value.

TGP’s low number for miles of new right-of-way is even more off-base when considering the extra rights-of-way needed for grounding the pipeline. Burying pipelines close to powerlines is dangerous. The electric field accelerates the rate of pipeline corrosion. To combat corrosion, large grounding arrays are required. This is a vital safety consideration, given that the Pipeline Safety Trust of the U.S. Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has documented that gas pipelines installed since 2010 have more incidents annually than those installed in all previous decades.

In the town of Mason alone, TGP proposes at least 9 miles of new NED right-of-way. The Mason Pipeline Committee has asked FERC to require TGP to state the actual number of miles of new right-of-way that must be acquired for the NED pipeline all along its route. When that figure is known, it will become clear that the NED route in southern New Hampshire is much more disruptive than upgrading the existing 200 pipeline in Massachusetts.

Doesn’t it make more sense to upgrade an old pipeline that is already in place, rather than create a new one?

Liz Fletcher is a member of the Mason NH Pipeline Committee.


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