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Gas Pipeline

Northfield seeks questions for pipeline forum

NORTHFIELD — Residents and others concerned about the natural gas pipeline proposed to cross Franklin County are being encouraged to submit questions by email before an Aug. 19 forum.

After weeks of trying to schedule a forum with proponents of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline expansion project, representatives of parent company Kinder Morgan agreed to meet with the town at 7 p.m. Aug. 19 in the Pioneer Valley Regional School auditorium.

The company will give a 15-minute presentation of its plans before a 45-minute question-and-answer period. The forum will be directed by Town Moderator Nathan L’Etoile.

To keep things organized and to prevent duplicate questions, Northfield’s Selectboard asks attendees to submit their questions by email ahead of time, or in writing the night of the forum.

Priority will be given to questions from Northfield residents, but other attendees are also encouraged to submit their inquiries.

Attendees are welcome to stay and share their concerns after the question-and-answer period. Kinder Morgan representatives will be asked to stay, though they have told the board that they will only be available until 8 p.m.

As proposed, the pipeline would cross nine Franklin County towns on the way from Pennsylvania to Dracut. The project has been met with opposition and outcry from residents in towns along its route as well as others in the area.

Local governments have no say over the pipeline and while the state Legislature may have some say over its route, it is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that is the agency that licenses such interstate energy projects.

The currently proposed route for the 30-inch diameter pipe cuts through Conway, Ashfield, Shelburne, Deerfield, Montague, Erving, Warwick, Orange, and Northfield.

Questions may be sent to Town Secretary Sandra Wood, at townsec@townnfld.com.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279 On Twitter, follow @RecorderRain

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