Milford selectmen say no to pipeline survey

MILFORD – Selectmen have decided they don’t want energy company Kinder Morgan surveying town-owned land for its natural gas pipeline project.

Milford is on the proposed 70-mile path of the Northeast Energy Direct Project transmission line through southern New Hampshire, and the route goes near or through at least 50 private properties in Milford, according to Kinder Morgan, the parent company of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline company.

Following the power corridor in the southern part of the town, the route crosses the Milford rail trail and the Dadoly property, a small town forest of 18 acres between Federal Hill Road and Fox Run Road.

Milford selectmen said they realize that letting the company survey does not obligate the town, and the ultimate decision on the pipeline’s path is not up to the board.

“I have no interest in making it easy for them,” Kevin Federico said, but on the other hand, “I have no interest in having the Milford Police walking through the property making sure they don’t.”

The board voted 4-1 on Feb. 9 with chairman Gary Daniels the only dissenter, who said he doesn’t have enough information yet to make a decision.

Kinder Morgan postponed an open house planned for last month because of snow and has set another one for Tuesday, Feb. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Hampshire Hills’ main facility.

Last month Gov. Maggie Hassan asked the company to engage more with communities and hold more open houses, but there has been no information about more events planned for this area.

Amherst and Milford are each forming a pipeline task force to analyze the pipeline’s impact. At least 60 Amherst homes would be affected.

Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct Project is in the pre-filing stage, and company officials have said they plan to officially file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the fall of 2015. The proposed route also has to gain approval from the state’s Site Evaluation Committee.

The Northeast Energy Direct Project will expand the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline system through Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut and help meet a demand for more natural gas transportation capacity, according to Kinder Morgan.

The company anticipates FERC approval in the fall of 2016 and the start of construction in January of 2017.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or
kcleveland@cabinet.com.