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Bob Croce, EOP Publisher
It may very well be time to organize public opposition to a proposed gas pipeline, whose construction will tear up a delicate wildlife area, put out of commission a popular recreation area, and threaten the property rights of Peabody homeowners.
More information is surfacing on the plans of Kinder Morgan, a giant energy company — which recently reported a profit of $469 million — to push through with a new pipeline in West Peabody.
Thanks to one of our faithful sources for sending me the notes from the March 11th meeting of the Peabody Conservation Commission, where ConCom Vice Chair Michael Rizzo revealed the Kinder Morgan plans. Rizzo also told the commission that Kinder Morgan has filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a permit that might allow them to take this land belonging to Peabody by eminent domain.
In other words, Kinder Morgan is saying to Peabody, we’re building this pipeline and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Earlier in this space, it was reported that the plan was to replace an existing gas pipeline over an existing right of way under some high tension wires. That would have meant that the natural gas line would run alongside the Independence Greenway (bikeway), crossing the bikeway three times before changing its route. Under that scenario, it appeared that only a 0.5-mile portion of the bikeway would have been torn up over a two-year period starting next year.
But now, looking at Vice Chair Rizzo’s comments at the last ConCom meeting, it appears that this is not a replacement line, but rather a totally new gas line that would follow the entire West Peabody stretch of the bikeway, tearing it up and closing it down through 2018. If this is true, the new gas line will also pass even closer to more homes, causing potential and continuous disruption and noise for two years. The negative impact on the wildlife, which includes deer, many species of birds and aquatic life in that area would be devastating.
“I heard they are running it down the bike path. That troubles me for two reasons. We just built the bike path. We received 3 1/2 million dollars to build a bike path, and now they are going to put a gas line through it. Not only does it disrupt the bike path, it puts it out of service. It will take away our open space and our resource,” Rizzo said during the ConCom meeting.
That sounds to me like the federal government run amok to help yet another huge energy company make even more obscene profits to the detriment of citizen quality of life.
“Part of my concern is that first of all, we have public money that was used. Through CPC we paid for the engineering design. Through MASSDOT we used state, federal and public money to build the bike path to have another company come through and dig it up,” Rizzo said.
My question at this point is when are we the people going to hear something more official on this project? Thanks to Mr. Rizzo for bringing this up at a ConCom meeting. Otherwise, we might have never even known about it until after Kinder Morgan started digging up and devastating the area.
At this point we need to hear from our elected officials and our Mayor. At this point, Kinder Morgan has some explaining to do by way of an open public meeting in Peabody. And at this point, citizens need to unite and fight back.