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Gas Pipeline

Clarkdale: Pipeline would cut through 100-year-old orchard

Recorder/Franz
Paula Reds fill a pallet box as cutomers shop at Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield on Wednesday.

Recorder/Franz Paula Reds fill a pallet box as cutomers shop at Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield on Wednesday. Purchase photo reprints »

DEERFIELD — A proposed Tennessee Gas pipeline could cut through the peach and apple orchards that have been growing fruit in the Deerfield River Valley for a 100 years, according to owners of Clarkdale Fruit Farm.

Surveyors with pipeline developer Kinder Morgan have repeatedly requested permission to survey the 300 acres at Clarkdale in West Deerfield, and owner Tom Clark has repeatedly declined, like many other Franklin County residents opposed to the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s Northeast expansion that would cut across nine Franklin County towns on its way from Wright, N.Y., to Dracut.

The Northeast Expansion route would run directly through Clarkdale’s peach hill and the main apple orchard just south of the farm stand, he said, based on maps he has seen.

Clark has retained a local lawyer, Mark Bluver, and has been communicating with the local legislators state Rep. Steve Kulik, state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern and is working to change the route.

Proposed, the pipeline would cut out much of the usable land at the fruit farm.

“It would be major damage environmentally and economically,” Ben Clark said. “It would cut out a good deal of production.”

Several Franklin County towns have adopted resolutions against the pipeline. In Deerfield, a group of residents are gathering signatures to have a resolution question on a special town meeting agenda.

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