Notes from Cross-Mass Gas Pipeline Presentation

Note from Chapter President David Glater:  our Chapter meeting on October 27, 2014, featured a presentation on "NED" - the proposed New England Direct gas transmission pipeline that would run across northern Massachusetts from the New York State border to Dracut, MA.  The presentation focused on the anticipated environmental impacts of pipeline construction and operation, especially its effects on cold water fisheries. GBTU Chapter member Parker Llywellyn took notes on this presentation, and is making them available to Chapter members who were unable to attend the meeting.

 

Greater Boston Trout Unlimited Chapter Meeting

                                                                  October 27, 2014                                  

Program notes re NED - the proposed natural gas transmission pipeline running from west to east across Northern Massachusetts.

The meeting featured a presentation by Jim Cutler and Mark Burton on the environmental implications of the proposed New England Direct (NED) gas transmission pipeline that will transit Massachusetts from Richmond to Dracut. Jim is a resident of Ashfield, MA and a founding member of the Hilltown Community Rights Coalition which opposes the pipeline. Mark also lives in Ashfield and is a member of the TU Deerfield Chapter. The slides used in their presentation are attached.

This pipeline will be built and managed by limited partnerships owned by Kinder Morgan, Inc. (Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C., Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P.). Initial plans are to complete the pipeline by November 2018. It will transmit between 800 million and 2.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily from the Marcellus Shale fields to New England, Atlantic Canada and for export as LNG. It will be made of 36”-42” Class 1 pipe – single wall construction with simple welded joints and coated. This type of pipe is the least complex and expensive and used in rural areas.

Jim and Mark began their presentation by showing that this pipeline will transect the Northwest portion of the state where there is a dense concentration of first order streams. These are the small streams that originate the important fishing rivers in the state such as the Deerfield and the Westfield.

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They distributed a report by Michael Cole of ABR, Inc. Environmental Research & Services that had been prepared for the Deerfield River Watershed Association and the Massachusetts Environmental Trust entitled ASSESSMENT OF BIODIVERSITY IN DEERFIELD RIVER WATERSHED FORESTED HEADWATER STREAMS . This report identified the macroinvertebrates, in these streams that support aquatic life.

From their presentation, it is clear that the environmental dangers from this pipeline that are especially relevant to TU are the following:

  • Pipeline leaks could allow contaminated condensates in the pipe to seep into the ground water.
  • Leaks of methane gas can cause fires which would denude the surrounding area and lead to possible soil erosion which would harm aquatic life.
  • While these are serious dangers, there have been no natural gas leaks in transmission pipelines in Massachusetts to date. Of course the incidence of leaks increases as the pipe ages and this pipeline has no sunset provision.
  • The cleared 50 ft. wide right of way above the pipeline could lead to soil erosion, affecting streams.
  • Finally, this right of way will be cleared regularly to allow access by maintenance crews. Clearing will be by mowing the grass or by using herbicides. Since this portion of the state is very hilly, it is expected that herbicides will be used primarily and this could harm aquatic life.

For more information on this proposed pipeline, contact the following:

Mass Land Trust Coalition                              
Nashoba Conservation Trust
Berkshire Environmental Action Team
Millers River Watershed Council
NH Pipeline Awareness.org 

MRWC Volunteer Opportunity - November 8th

CAN YOU HELP THE MERRIMACK RIVER WATERSHED COUNCIL THIS SAT NOV 8th?Volunteers are needed to help us with trail work at our conservation land and bird sanctuary in Andover. On Sat. Nov. 8th, from 10-1, we will be making a bridge, clearing the trail, and removing invasives.

If you can help, please contact Executive Director Caroly Shumway ASAP (cshumway@merrimack.org or 978-655-4742), and we can fill you in on the details!

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Lyman House Tour

This Saturday, The Trustees of Reservations will be having our First Lyman House Tour.  Join us at The Lyman Reserve, November 1, 2014 from 9:00 – 2:00p.m.

Located at 1009 Head of the Bay Rd., Buzzards Bay.

 

 The Lyman Cottage has traditionally been closed to the public.  This weekend, we are opening up the fishing/hunting cottage of the Lyman Family.  Come take a look at some original era furnishings and dwelling.  This guided tour will give you a look back at a simpler time.  Explore our hiking trails and complete the day with a lunchtime picnic overlooking buttermilk bay.

 Free to the public. Come take a look at a piece of history! 

October Chapter Meeting

Join GBTU on Monday, October 27th for an important update on the proposed natural gas transmission pipeline running from west to east across Massachusetts.

The Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, is moving ahead with a proposal to build a bulk natural gas transmission pipeline running west to east across Massachusetts, from Richmond, MA, on the MA-NY border, to a terminal facility in Dracut, MA, on the New Hampshire border.  The proposed project ("Northeast Energy Direct Project," or "NED") has generated significant local opposition because of its anticipated environmental impacts resulting from both pipeline construction and subsequent operation.  The 127 mile route initially proposed – which may not be the final route – would cut across the Deerfield, Westfield, Millers and Connecticut Rivers, and  numerous other smaller and less well-known coldwater streams in northern Massachusetts.  Its proposed route would also cross State parks and forests, conservation lands, conservation land trusts, and other sensitive areas.

At this Chapter meeting, Jim Cutler, a resident of Ashland, Massachusetts and a founding member of the Hilltown Community Rights Coalition, will tell us what motivated him to become an anti-pipeline activist, and describe the immediate and longer-term impacts of construction and operation of this pipeline called NED. He will also describe how local community groups have banded together and connected with other established environmental protection organizations to oppose NED, and the challenges they have faced in opposing a project sponsored by a well-funded proponent like Kinder Morgan.  He will be joined by his neighbor and fellow pipeline opponent, Mark Burton, a member of the Deerfield TU Chapter.

Monday, October 27th
Doors open at 6:30 and the presentation will begin at 7:30.

Come early! Refreshments will be served!
$5 donation enters you in the raffle for door prizes.

LOCATION: DRUMLIN FARM, Lincoln

We look forward to seeing you there.

GBTU Season Opener Barbecue

Monday, September 22, 2014 - 7:00PM - Drumlin Farm, Lincoln

JOIN US FOR A GREAT EVENING!

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Andy Bonzagni, owner of Concord Outfitters, will be with us for our first meeting of the fall season. Andy has been organizing flyfishing travel trips around the world for fifteen years, and his specialty is researching the ideal travel destination for each customer's needs.

Andy's presentation will cover two trips scheduled for next summer:

June 2nd 2015: Concord Outfitters will host a five-day camp and float fly fishing trip down the Smith river in Montana, one of the most scenic floats in the world. Loaded with cutthroat and brown trout, fishing this river is the perfect way to start your summer.

July 26th: We will travel to Fernie, British Columbia in search of bulltrout and massive cutthroats. This amazing trip offers incredible dry-fly fishing for willing Cutts, and Bulltrout just waiting to jump on a streamer drifted by their noses. Located in the Canadian Rockies, the scenery would be enough, but the fishing makes it a trip of a lifetime!

After this exciting program you'll be dreaming of taking a trip in the near future. Whether your dream trip is local or at a far away destination, come down and pick Andy's brain. Together you'll find for the spot that's just right for you.

THE BARBECUE

As we do every year, GBTU will thank our loyal and conservation-minded members by providing a delicious repast to accompany Andy's presentation, to encourage you to attend the meeting, and to promote camaraderie among those who come. We get a large crowd every year, hear many stories about fish caught (and not quite caught) during the summer, and discuss our fall plans for fishing and completing conservation projects.

You can come early, say 6:30, and help set up, and stay a little bit to help clean up. Or you can come at 7:00, enjoy the food and the program, and head home to tuck the kids in bed. Either way, GBTU will be very glad to see you!

For information or directions call David Glater, President, at 347-853-0628.