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Massachusetts Attorney General Files Opposition on Pipeline Injunction Request

Maura Healey
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office has filed its opposition to an injunction request by Kinder Morgan. The company wants to build a natural gas pipeline which would run through state-owned conservation land in Southern Berkshire County on its way to Connecticut.

Kinder Morgan is seeking to sidestep a Massachusetts law requiring legislative approval before state conservation land can be used by private entities.

In its 29-page opposition, the attorney general’s office says the injunction should not be granted because the matter is still before the legislature, the state law isn’t specifically preempted by federal law and because the federal approval process isn’t complete.

The company had been granted preliminary approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the project, but shortly after the injunction was filed, FERC tapped the breaks on the project. The agency requested more information from Kinder Morgan on the necessary easements and environmental approvals it needs to go forward, some of which would have to come from the state.

Kinder Morgan wants to begin clearing trees from the pipeline’s path in Otis State Forest in Sandisfield. The matter is scheduled to go before a judge in Pittsfield this week.

The outcome of this case could impact a separate project from Kinder Morgan, its pipeline proposal through northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

This report was originally published at New England Public Radio.

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