In a series of filings at FERC, residents of Dracut, MA, and the town's Board of Selectmen say they oppose Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.'s (TGP) Northeast Energy Direct Project (NED), which would bring Marcellus Shale natural gas to utilities and power generators in New England.
The market path segment of the project runs from Wright, NY, to Dracut and beyond and is scalable to 1.2 Bcf/d, or ultimately 2.2 Bcf/d. A project in-service date of November 2018 is planned, according to the Kinder Morgan Inc. pipeline.
But the proposed pipeline would bring with it potential problems, according to the selectmen, including possible leaks, ruptures and explosions, diminished property values. The selectmen submitted to FERC a resolution they recently approved voicing their opposition to the TGP project or any pipeline "that potentially threatens the safety of any Dracut residents, visitors or property," and calling on state and federal officials to disallow those projects.
Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA), who represents the Dracut area, said at a recent scoping meeting in Massachusetts that she and her constituents had concerns with the approval process for energy infrastructure projects in the region.
"Contact with local town officials best able to identify local concerns has not gone as smoothly as desired," and complete resource reports haven't been made available in time for some public meetings, Tsongas said.
"Additionally, I would like to ask that FERC consider viewing the numerous natural gas pipeline projects pending or approved in the New England region in a holistic manner to ensure that we are not overbuilding our pipeline infrastructure for domestic need. As a country, we have made a commitment to building a renewable future and not reducing the competitiveness of solar, wind, hydropower and other alternative sources in favor of additional pipeline infrastructure. Accordingly, would FERC consider a 'no-build' option, instead considering the option to repair our existing pipeline infrastructure to answer our region's energy needs?"
In March, anchor shippers signed up for about 500,000 Dth/d of incremental capacity on the project's market path segment (see Daily GPI, March 5). TGP reached agreement with local distribution companies throughout New England more than a year ago to provide 500,000 Dth/d of long-term firm transportation on the market path component (see Daily GPI, July 30, 2014).