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Environment

Why Connecticut Should Care About the Proposed New England Pipeline

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Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P.
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A natural gas pipeline is planned in several northeastern states.

A proposed project to upgrade and construct a natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts has many spurs, one of them stretching into parts of Connecticut.

About 400 miles of mainline and lateral pipeline, called the Northeast Energy Direct Project, is planned stretching from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts, traversing through New York and New Hampshire, according to Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan. The project has spurs in Connecticut.

The project also includes a separate Connecticut expansion to upgrade the existing pipeline

The expansion consists of about 13 miles of two- to three-foot-diameter pipeline looping in Albany County, New York; Berkshire and Hampden Counties, Massachusetts, and Hartford County, Connecticut. “This expansion project is developed to meet increased demand in the U.S. Northeast for transportation capacity for natural gas,” Kinder Morgan's website says.

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Credit Henry Epp for NEPR
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Albert Gordon from Stephentown, New York.

New England Public Radio’s Henry Epp takes you along the proposed route in a two-part series, talking to people along the way.

When asked if he would let Kinder Morgan onto his Stephentown, New York property to survey his land, Albert Gordon said: “Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, I’ll put every obstruction in their path.”

Michelle Koelle wondered how the compressor station in Windsor, Massachusetts would affect the reproductive habits of her turkeys, as the station would release some emissions to regulate pressure. Listen to the first story in the series below:

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Credit Henry Epp for NEPR
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Martin Piekos lives in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

In the second report, Epp hears from someone who thinks people who are more open-minded about the project have been scared into silence.

Martin Piekos of Londonderry, New Hampshire, said he’s undecided about the line, but doesn’t mind it being less than a quarter mile away.

“But I would like to benefit from it being in my own backyard. I would like to see my gas rates stay low and my energy costs stay low,” Piekos said.

Listen to the second story in the series below:

After receiving feedback on his series, Epp sat down with a Kinder Morgan representative, Allen Fore, to discuss the pipeline’s possible effects on the environment, property values, and safety. Listen to the interview below:

Click here for an overview fact sheet of the Northeast Energy Direct Project with a breakout of where the pipeline will go, a map, and a proposed timeline on the project. Kinder Morgan says on its website that construction on the Connecticut expansion project is likely to begin late this year and continue through 2016.

Correction: an earlier version of this report inaccurately described the number of miles of the proposed gas pipeline project. The NED project totals 400 miles, not 60. Stephanie Riefe is an intern at WNPR.

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