In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Upton Board of Selectmen outlined the Town’s concerns regarding the proposed Algonquin gas pipeline project. The selectmen included concerns presented at the community forum held on May, 25 in their letter as well as all emails/letters sent to the Board directly.
“We really appreciate your taking the time to share your concerns with us,” said Town Manager Blythe Robinson in an email to those who expressed concerns. Blythe said doing so allowed the Town to best represent the community.
Concerns outlined in the letter are briefly summarized below –
- The impact the proposed gas pipeline path would have on natural and historical resources in town such as Upton State Forest, Pratt Pond, Peppercorn Hill Conservation Area, Stephan’s Farm, Heritage Park, and Kiwanis Beach Recreation Areas.
- The importance of surveying the area for sensitive resources to ensure proper protection.
- The impact on abutting homes within the evacuation zone.
- Concerns about public safety and health effects and concerns about financial support should such support be needed.
- Concerns about gas leakage and how it might impact the town wells.
- The suggestions that if the gas company fixed gas leaks throughout the line, Upton has 14 presently, the need for the pipeline would be eliminated.
- Residents were worried about eminent domain and losing their properties, reduced property values, and the inability to fully use their property if an easement is required on their property.
- Residents do not want to pay the additional tax/surcharge, this cost should be on the company.
- Residents are concerned the proposed project is to increase fracking with the purpose of using the proposed pipelines to eventually ship overseas.