Tennessee Gas Pipeline Issue

The NRWA opposes the proposed route for the Tennessee Gas pipeline in northern MA.  If it is determined that a new natural gas pipeline is essential, the NRWA urges that alternative routes less damaging to the environment be utilized.  See position.

Updates

Potential Natural Resource Impacts of Proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline in the Nashua River Watershed (13 minute video by NRWA intern Elizabeth Wilkey)

Representative Sheila Harrington Memo of 6/30/14

 

Info on Laterals

In addition to the main proposed pipeline crossing from west to east across the watershed there are three additional proposed smaller and shorter pipeline "laterals" which are part of the entire Kinder Morgan
Northeast Energy Direct project. These laterals are the so-called "Fitchburg Lateral Extension" which runs in a
north-south trajectory off the main pipeline in Townsend into Lunenburg and the so-called "West Nashua Lateral" aka "Hollis" lateral which runs in a south-north trajectory off the main pipeline in Pepperell into Hollis NH. Kinder Morgan's map for their proposed Northeast Energy Direct project also shows a "North Worcester Lateral" which runs through the Boylston and Bolton area. View Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct
Project Location Map.

The NRWA is just as concerned about the potential negative impacts from the construction and existence of the laterals on our important natural resources –including but not limited to Areas of Critical Environmental
Concern, aquifers, Bio Map 2 Core Habitats, conservation lands and other open spaces, hydrology, public water supplies, vernal pools, and wetlands -- as we are about the potential detrimental impacts of the larger and longer main pipeline. In the near future we will create and post PDF maps showing the proposed routes of these two laterals overlaying the above- mentioned resource data layers. We will also continue to research the potential impacts of all aspects of the proposed pipeline, including these laterals, on our ecological resources using best scientific analytic methods, and we will post the results on our website as soon as new information is available.

 

Flyovers of Nashua River Watershed with Pipeline Route Overlay and Related Aerial Images

These flyover videos show the current proposed pipeline route overlaid over aerial imagery of the watershed.  The related aerial image files correspond to numbered markers (every 3/4 miles) that appear on the flyover videos.

High Level Flyover (3 minute video)

Mid Level Flyover (6 minute video)

Low Level Flyover (11 minute video)

Related Aerial Images
Aerial view marker 1 to 2 Aerial view marker 12 to 13 Aerial view marker 23 to 24
Aerial view marker 2 to 3 Aerial view marker 13 to 14 Aerial view marker 24 to 25
Aerial view marker 3 to 4 Aerial view marker 14 to 15 Aerial view marker 25 to 26
Aerial view marker 4 to 5 Aerial view marker 15 to 16 Aerial view marker 26 to 27
Aerial view marker 5 to 6 Aerial view marker 16 to 17 Aerial view marker 27 to 28
Aerial view marker 6 to 7 Aerial view marker 17 to 18 Aerial view marker 28 to 29
Aerial view marker 7 to 8 Aerial view marker 18 to 19 Aerial view marker 29 to 30
Aerial view marker 8 to 9 Aerial view marker 19 to 20 Aerial view marker 30 to 31
Aerial view marker 9 to 10 Aerial view marker 20 to 21 Aerial view marker 31 to 32
Aerial view marker 10 to 11 Aerial view marker 21 to 22 Aerial view marker 32 to 33
Aerial view marker 11 to 12 Aerial view marker 22 to 23  Aerial view marker 33 to 34

 

NRWA Natural Resource Maps and Video

Potential Natural Resource Impacts of Proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline in the Nashua River Watershed (13 minute video by NRWA intern Elizabeth Wilkey)

ACEC Map

Aquifer Map

BioMap2 Map

Open Space Map

Prime Farmland Map

Wetlands and Hydrology Map

Zone II Map

In the coming weeks the NRWA will be positing additional information on this page pertaining to the proposed route, the potential environmental impacts in the Nashua River watershed, and the efforts to encourage alternative routes.

 

Links and Events Relevant to the Topic

The NRWA has not taken a position on all the points made in the materials on these links and events, and may not be in agreement with all the points, but is providing this information to be of service to interested constituents.

Kinder Morgan Presentation to Meeting Hosted by EOEEA for Environmental Organizations on 6/25/14

Rolling March to the State House beginning July 6

New England Governors’ Commitment to Regional Cooperation on Energy Infrastructure Issues Statement

Presentation Kinder Morgan made to the Pepperell Board of Selectmen on 5/12/2014

Presentation Kinder Morgan made to the Ashby Board of Selectmen Meeting on 4/23/2014

Ashby Town Pipeline Information Meeting (without Kinder Morgan) on 3/29/2014

Nashoba Conservation Trust Website on Pipeline with Maps

MA Pipeline Awareness Network Website

No Fracked Gas in Mass Website

 Nissitissit River - Photo by Jane Metzger

Nashua River Wild & Scenic River Study Act Passed Unanimously by U.S. House of Representatives

National Park Service Reconnaissance Survey on the Nashua River

WASHINGTON, DC– June 23, 2014 – Today, the House of Representatives passed a bill authored by Congresswoman Niki Tsongas that would take steps toward protecting the Nashua River. The bill passed with unanimous bipartisan support.The Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act (H.R. 412) authorizes the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct a study on the Nashua River and two of its tributaries, the Squannacook and Nissitissit Rivers, to determine their eligibility for designation as Wild & Scenic Rivers.

H.R. 412 has been endorsed by all eight towns through which the Nashua runs in Massachusetts: Lancaster, Harvard, Shirley, Ayer, Groton, Dunstable, Pepperell, and Townsend.

During the study process the NPS would work with state and local governments, conservation groups, and concerned residents to develop a conservation plan for the river in order to protect water quality and conserve open spaces. Should the study favorably determine the Nashua River's eligibility as a Wild & Scenic River, legislation to officially designate the river and implement the conservation plan would then be introduced in order to clean up polluted waters around the river, keep drinking water supplies clean, and protect the river for a variety of uses.

"The history and development of the towns and cities in the 3rd District of Massachusetts has been defined by the many rivers that course through these unique communities. The study initiated by this bill will allow the National Park Service, the Watershed Association, and local governments and stakeholders to work together in forming a plan to protect the Nashua River and ensure that it remains a central part of life and growth in our region," said Congresswoman Tsongas. "In 1999, 29 miles of the nearby Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers were designated as Wild and Scenic Rivers. Since then, we have seen how this designation can help protect not only the quality of the rivers, but the quality of the recreational activities that they support. It is my hope that the Wild and Scenic designation can be expanded to the Nashua River so we can see the same successes there. This step is essential to starting that process."

Earlier this month, the National Park Service completed a reconnaissance survey on the Nashua River. According to a June, 2014 letter to Congresswoman Tsongas from the Department of the Interior, "the elements for a successful wild and scenic river study process for the Nashua River and its tributaries in Massachusetts are in place." The report also emphasized extensive local support as reason to move forward with additional study. "Key local leaders have been working for over four years to educate the public and build support for federal Wild and Scenic Study authorization."

Elizabeth Ainsley Campbell, Executive Director of the Nashua River Watershed Association, said "This legislation will help advance the protection of the entire river system and we are thrilled to see it move forward."

"The Reconnaissance Survey confirms that the Nashua River and its tributaries have all the ingredients for a successful Wild and Scenic River Study: highly significant natural, cultural and recreational resources; capable and committed local partners; and local communities with a demonstrated track record of support for conservation of the River,"said Jamie Fosburgh, the New England Team Leader for Wild and Scenic Rivers.

In his closing statement at a subcommittee hearing last year, Republican Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Rob Bishop (R-Utah) thanked Congresswoman Tsongas for her work on this bill and said he is, "supportive of what you're trying to do here and of the study."

Tsongas is a member of the Natural Resources Committee and has worked to preserve and protect the rivers and waterways in the Third Congressional District. She hosts an annual River Day to highlight the importance of the Rivers in the communities she represents and to recognize the organizations, volunteers and different levels of government working together to sustain and preserve the integrity of these resources.