Franklin County residents speak out on gas pipelines - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Franklin County residents speak out on gas pipelines

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GREENFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

It was a full house Tuesday night at Greenfield Community College as hundreds of Franklin County residents come out in opposition of the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline expansion project.

"It's totally unnecessary," Rosemary Wessel, of Cummington, said. 

The Tennessee Pipeline is a nearly 14,000-mile long gas line that stretches from southern Texas to the northeastern portion of the country. It runs through 14 states, including here in Massachusetts.

One pipeline is currently routed on the southern portion of the state from Pittsfield to Boston.

There's another section that goes through Springfield.

This expansion at the forefront of Tuesday's discussion would cover the northern part of the state and would be built from Wright, NY, to the Eastern Mass town of Dracut.

Included in that 200-mile track are nine Franklin County towns.

The proposed natural gas pipelines are expected to run through some farm lands and backyards, which has residents saying "no thank you'' to the project.

"I guess in a general sense if you're going to have a project like this, they shouldn't go through pristine forest, they shouldn't go through conservation land. They just shouldn't," Kathleen Lynch, of Montague, said. 

"One of my concerns is that there will be emissions from this," Wessel said. 

Tom Clark is the owner of Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield. He said he was approached by Kinder Morgan, the company of the pipeline. Clark said the line is expected to run right through his farm.

He said he's afraid of both the environmental impact on his crops as well as economic impact on his farm in general.

"It's a direct impact. It's not philosophical. It's what it's going to do to me the rest of my life," Clark said. 

Kinder Morgan said the expansion will bring benefits to the area such as lower gas costs.

They were invited to the public forum but did not attend.

They said they are taking every concern into consideration.

However, the deal is not set in stone. It still has to go through several regulations. If it passes, construction has been planned for 2017.

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