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Local News

October 19, 2013

Family wants pipeline out of forest

Trust owners say proposal would be 'devastating'


He and his family have become official intervenors in the license application now before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency that has the authority to kill the project or allow it to go forward.

Supporters of the pipeline project argue that it will bring scores of jobs to the region and make natural gas more readily available to schools, hospitals and businesses, and give many homeowners an option other than heating oil and propane to heat their residences.

Bruce Kernan said he is not out to kill the project, and said he isn’t an expert on whether the nation needs a new gas pipeline to take natural gas to markets near Boston and the New York City regions.

But he said it makes far more sense to him and his family to have the pipeline situated along the Interstate 88 corridor, an alternative that the state Department of Environmental Conservation argues deserves greater study despite Constitution Pipeline’s insistence that the I-88 option is impractical from an engineering point of view.

A spokesman for the Constitution Pipeline project, Christopher Stockton, an employee of Williams Partners, one of the companies that has invested in the effort, said while he was not personally familiar with the contentions of the Kernans:

“This illustrates why it is so important that landowners become willing to talk to us and help us identify issues that are out there and that we may not be aware of. We have made considerable changes to the route and demonstrated tremendous flexibility,” Stockton said. “We have changed 50 percent of the route. In terms of making modifications to the route now, although it is more difficult now than it was in the pre-filing stage of the process, if there are issues like that, we would certainly prefer to have an open dialogue with the property owners. I think we have demonstrated that we will do whatever we can to minimize and address those issues.”

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