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Pipeline Company Improperly Dumps Wastewater In Agawam, Mass.

A contractor for natural gas pipeline company Kinder Morgan improperly dumped thousands of gallons in Agawam, Massachusetts.
A contractor for natural gas pipeline company Kinder Morgan improperly dumped thousands of gallons in Agawam, Massachusetts.

A contractor for a natural gas pipeline company improperly dumped thousands of gallons in Agawam, Massachusetts.

According to federal filings, a contractor for Kinder Morgan last month released more than 16,000 gallons of wastewater in the city. The water was dumped in a "vegetated area." Kinder Morgan is constructing a project running through southern New England.

The water released in Agawam on Nov. 20 was used to test newly laid piping, which is meant to carry natural gas. It contained chemicals including copper and lead.

For Katy Eiseman of the Pipeline Awareness Network, the incident is proof that regulators, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, should keep a closer eye on the so-called Connecticut Expansion Project.

"I think that there is not enough not enough oversight from the agencies," Eiseman said in an interview. "We'll see whether there is enforcement with fines, or otherwise from the EPA."

A spokeswoman for Kinder Morgan said in a statement that contractor Henkels & McCoy failed to follow directions when releasing the water.

In an email statement, an EPA official said it's not yet clear if the agency will take any action against Kinder Morgan.

"EPA is reviewing the information provided by the company, and EPA is coordinating with our state counterparts during this review to determine if any other steps are warranted,” the statement said.

Copyright 2017 New England Public Media

Sean Teehan

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