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Gas Pipeline

Warwick to discuss possible pipeline tonight

WARWICK — Residents and officials will gather tonight to discuss the town’s position on a proposed natural gas pipeline and how to respond to proponents.

The joint meeting of the Selectboard and Planning Board will be held at 6 p.m. in Town Hall. Its goal is to come up with a unified position and to generate questions and concerns to bring to Kinder Morgan, the company behind the Tennessee Gas Pipeline.

The logistics of constructing an extensive, underground pipeline from western Pennsylvania to eastern Massachusetts has raised concerns across the county, and many are also worried about natural gas generation practices like hydraulic fracturing, and the environmental damage these controversial drilling techniques, also known as fracking, can cause.

Also at issue is the route of the pipeline, which would cross state, town and private lands, including some under “forever wild” conservation restrictions.

Topics on tonight’s agenda include whether the town and landowners should allow Kinder Morgan to survey local properties, the ins and outs of the permitting process, and the possibility of the company using eminent domain laws to provide a right-of-way for the pipeline.

Tonight’s meeting seeks to form a position on the possible change of restrictions on protected properties to allow for the pipeline.

The boards will also discuss whether the town should sign onto a letter of opposition backed by 128 regional land trusts, whether Warwick should draft its own letter of opposition, if the town should aid in forming a coalition of towns opposed to the pipeline, and whether to form a committee tasked with staying up-to-date on the developing project and providing guidance on the matter to the Selectboard and other town bodies.

A representative from Kinder Morgan was asked to attend tonight’s meeting, but informed officials that he could not make it.

The company is tentatively scheduled to send a representative to address the town at a 6 p.m. April 10 meeting in Town Hall.

Maps of the proposed pipeline route through Warwick, as well as other documents on the project, are available at goo.gl/1jMfQT.

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