Beware of Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal

To the Editor:

My family was at the pipeline meeting last week, and we felt the Kinder Morgan group would have been happy to monopolize the entire meeting with their public relations rhetoric. Thankfully, the selectmen and moderator were able to redirect them to the intended purpose of answering “some” of the concerns that were brought up, or I should say avoiding any direct answers. They never really addressed the question of why a pipeline that enters Massachusetts at its western border and terminates in Dracut was rerouted north through New Hampshire to eventually turn east and then south again back into MA to reach its termination point.

This proposed route does not “affect” several neighborhoods, it actually devastates them. The area we live in is alongside the route as it crosses Stearns Road. This area is designated as a flood zone. Before the pipeline reaches us it runs very close to the Audubon’s Ponemah Bog Wildlife Refuge and Sanctuary. After it crosses Stearns Road it approaches the Souhegan for one of its four crossings. Kinder Morgan indicates that after clearing 150 feet or more in some areas they will re-vegetate all but a permanent 50-foot wide strip that must be kept clear. We have no doubt that this would be done by the use of pesticides that would seep into the aquifer supplying the fresh water to many of the affected neighborhoods. Apparently their statement that the route along power lines away from environmentally-sensitive areas is nothing more than “public relations speak”.

Maybe designating the cottontail rabbit an endangered species would raise KM’s concern over the environment.

I sincerely hope the state and federal delegations are seriously watching this as it unfolds. Surely the residents of Amherst will be watching them to see where they stand, just as it was mentioned in the comment portion of the meeting that we are watching the selectmen. I was very pleased to hear of their strongly worded letter, but that is only the beginning of what will be a long and emotional process to get this powerful conglomerate out of town.

Anyone with Google can find many eye-opening accounts of what Amherst may be in for if this pipeline is eventually approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee.

Glenn C. Davis

Amherst