Milford selectmen will not sign anti-pipeline letter

MILFORD – Selectmen have decided not to sign a letter from the Municipal Pipeline Coalition opposing the natural gas pipeline, proposed to go through Milford and 16 other southern New Hampshire towns.

At least not yet.

The letter, addressed to the governor and the New Hampshire Congressional delegation, says the 36-inch pipeline proposed to go through southern New Hampshire to Dracut, Mass., has a capacity that far exceeds New England’s projected energy needs, and the need for the project “is better addressed by competing projects that would require less taking of private and public lands and the project will benefit the energy companies far more than gas consumers.

Premature

Milford selectmen talked about the letter at their April 27 meeting and agreed that since Milford’s Pipeline Task Force has not finished reviewing the project, signing the letter would be premature.

Selectman Gary Daniels “I would hate to see any group go forward on its own,” and board Chairman Mark Fougere said it’s not certain everything in the letter is true.

The letter is dated May 6 and provides space for signatures from officials in 13 towns.

It contends that Kinder Morgan, the Texas-based company that would build the pipeline for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, falsely implies the pipeline will be entirely within the power line right of way and have little impact on adjacent land.

‘Rural communities’

The pipeline, it says, will go through “rural communities that highly value their open space, rural character and conservation land.”

According to the letter the coalition is made up of Amherst, Brookline, Fitzwilliam, Greenville, Litchfield, Mason, Merrimack, Milford, Pelham, Richmond, Rindge, Temple and Troy.

Amherst selectmen’s Vice Chairman John D’Angelo said his board has not received the letter.

Last month Amherst’s Pipeline Task Force sent Kinder Morgan a letter asking them to change the pipeline route to avoid residential areas and conservation land.