Beaver Brook Action on Pipeline
Pipeline Update — December 19, 2014
On December 8th, 2014 Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC (a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan) submitted filings to the FERC showing significant adjustments to their original route. A review of the maps filed indicate that Beaver Brook Association property is not on the current route. We will continue to carefully monitor the project, which could extend several more years. Click to see the currently proposed route in southern NH. The expenses for the defense of BBA easements have been substantial and we cannot say thank you enough to all the donors who have helped us.
Please note that the route in the file was manually plotted by an engineer reviewing the aerial photography and topographical maps filed. Additionally, the route has undergone several changes over the last year and others are possible in the future. The file is meant to offer viewers an interactive way to view the route, but should not be considered a replacement for the applicants file. The main pipeline route is shown in red with a lateral depicted in green. The areas shaded with blue show locations that Kinder Morgan has identified as possible areas to site a compressor station.
If you wish to view the map in Google Earth, please email the BBA office and we will send you an email with an attachment that you can save and then open in Google Earth.
Pipeline Update–November 17, 2014
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC (a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan) submitted additional filings and correspondences in the last few weeks. The original route was indicated to be their preferred route and filed under Resource Report 1; this route would have more than a mile of pipeline bisecting large portions of Beaver Brook Association land protected with Conservation Easements.
Despite these filings we are encouraged that the concerns that we have raised along with many other conservation organizations in NH (see recent letters from state chapters of The Nature Conservancy, and New Hampshire Wildlife Federation) are being heard as evidenced by potential alternative routes filed. These alternatives potentially impacting NH appear to primarily follow existing Rights of Way (ROW), which minimizes fragmentation of forested areas and reduce new scarring of our state. We are also pleased to see that the FERC posted response letters to the NH Congressional Delegation that specifically address concerns we raised with the Attorney General’s Office and NH Fish & Game.PLEASE NOTE the meeting originally scheduled for 11/18 has been postponed with no word on the new date to conduct their “Open House”.
We appreciate your support and welcome donations in our continued efforts. You can donate by calling the office at 603-465-7787, mailing a check, or clicking the donate now button on the website and writing “Property Defense Fund” in the designation box.
If you would like to assist Beaver Brook Association’s efforts, you can donate here writing “Property Defense Fund” in the designation line.
or mail a donation to Beaver Brook Association 117 Ridge Rd, Hollis, NH 03049 and write Property Defense Fund in the memo line.
Pipeline Update–October 27, 2014
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC. (a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan) is expected to make additional filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) very shortly that will provide additional details of their proposed route and possible route adjustments. This filing will set off a series of meetings across the Northeast.
We continue to be heartened by the support we are receiving in the region and other parts of New Hampshire. In the last few weeks we have received supportive letters from the NH Congressional Delegation, the NH Audubon Society, the NH Land Trust Coalition, and the NH Division of Forest & Lands. (See www.beaverbrook.org/pipeline for full copies of these letters). We look forward to working with the company to help find an acceptable resolution; we remain positive that such a resolution can be found.
On November 18th from 6-8PM at the Hollis Brookline High School there will be an “Open House” conducted by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company/Kinder Morgan. According to the FERC, “the Open House is part of the applicant’s community outreach program and is an opportunity for the applicant to share information about the project with the public.” Guests to the event will be able to walk from table to table and speak with Kinder Morgan representatives (topics such as: land, environmental, project management, etc). We encourage citizens in the region to attend the meeting, listen, and ask questions they might have. Staff from the FERC will also be present.
Pipeline Update-September 17, 2014
On September 15th, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C. (a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan) submitted a request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to use the pre-filing procedures for their proposed Northeast Energy Direct Project. The proposed route would violate Beaver Brook Association’s conservation easements. In response, Beaver Brook has retained the counsel of Spiegel & McDiarmid, LLP, a Washington DC based legal firm who advocates and litigates in the public interest with experience in utility matters with the FERC.
We continue to assert that violating conservation easement for siting energy facilities is inappropriate and we believe it would be the first such taking of conservation easement land for that purpose in New Hampshire. This is a dangerous precedent for the state and the Conservation community is starting to voice that concern. A letter from the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association can be viewed by clicking on the organization names above.
We appreciate your continued support and welcome donations in our efforts to protect conservation easements. You can donate by calling the office at 603-465-7787, mailing a check or clicking the donate now button on the website and writing Property Defense Fund in the designation box.
The Director of NH Fish & Game Department has issued the letter linked here to Kinder Morgan expressing concern that the gas transmission line appears to be crossing a significant area of the State’s highest priority habitats as depicted on their own Wildlife Action Plan. Beaver Brook Association owns and protects a large area of highest priority habitat and their letter supports our position that conservation land like ours is not appropriate for siting energy facilities or transmission lines.
August 12, 2014 Pipeline Update
In the last month, representatives from Beaver Brook Association have been following through with their commitment to meet with towns potentially impacted by the alternate routes identified by Tri-Mont Engineering. As of today, presentations have been made at public meetings in Hollis, Brookline, Milford, Amherst, and Pepperell. We’ve been told the schedule in Townsend would not allow us an opportunity to present there until the end of August or into September at the earliest.
Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company has expressed their intent to pre-file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) next month. It is our hope, that if they do pre-file they do so with an alternate route for the lateral that does not impact conservation land as their original proposed route does.
We continue to insist that land protected with conservation easements is not appropriate for siting energy facilities or transmission lines. We should not be penalized for setting aside open land for the public to enjoy in perpetuity. In New Hampshire conservation easement land constitutes a charitable trust that exists for the benefit of the public at large. Through their Charitable Trust Unit the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office has supported our position and sent _this linked letter to Kinder Morgan expressing their concern.
July 11, 2014 Pipeline Update
Final Report by Tri-Mont Engineering on 3 alternative routes for Nashua lateral of the Kinder-Morgan Pipeline.
July 9th – Pipeline Update
At public meetings Monday evening in both Hollis and Brookline, Beaver Brook continued its efforts to fight the deliberate targeting of conservation land for pipeline construction.
At the meetings of the Brookline Selectboard and the Hollis Board of Selectmen Beaver Brook representatives shared with attendees three alternate routes investigated and proposed by Tri-Mont Engineering, the company hired by Beaver Brook to seek viable route options that as much as possible avoid conservation lands and follow highways or existing rights of way. We presented a map showing the Tri-Mont-generated alternative routes, as well as the original route Kinder Morgan has proposed through Beaver Brook. That map can also be viewed below.
A follow-up meeting in Hollis (Monday, July 14th) and another in Brookline (Monday, July 21st) will allow citizens to offer comments to their respective boards of selectmen. Additional informational meetings are also being scheduled in other affected towns.
In the wake of the meetings we are heartened by the support Beaver Brook has received for our efforts to prevent the deliberate targeting of Beaver Brook holdings and other conservation lands for construction of utility infrastructure. Conservation lands have been donated and purchased in the public interest specifically to safeguard them from development. Beaver Brook took the additional step through our “Beaver Brook Forever” campaign to raise funds necessary to complete the costly process of placing conservation easements on our land as another layer of protection for the five decades of work that has gone into assembling such a large area of contiguous land. To deliberately target protected properties for pipeline construction betrays their core intent and purpose and violates the public trust.
Beaver Brook didn’t just happen. It is the product of fifty years of real people donating time, money and property for a purpose important to them and their families. We not only have both a Board of Trustees and a Board of Members of the Corporation protecting our holdings, we have added additional easements and protections that specifically prohibit actions such as those being proposed. Even if those protections are not invulnerable to eminent domain and similar legal weaponry, we hope they will be morally sufficient. We feel that a 1.2 mile long fifty-foot wide permanently-cleared right of way slashing through Beaver Brook against the wishes of Beaver Brook Association and of the community is both wrong and—as engineers have shown—unnecessary.
While the decision of where any approved pipeline gets sited is now and always has been ultimately in the hands of the pipeline construction company and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, there is still more that we can do. Such decisions do not happen in a vacuum. Our public officials and numerous boards at the state level have a say. And public opinion matters—your voice matters.
It’s common for pipeline and similar companies to dismiss protest as just inevitable NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) noise that should be ignored in the public interest. But that’s not what we’re saying. We are saying that if efforts to wrongly exploit hard-won conservation properties as fat, easy targets for utility and other infrastructure projects succeed this time, then it will happen over and over. That can’t happen. Public officials need to hear our message. Utility infrastructure should be built out only if it is necessary and in the public interest. When they are built, routes must avoid the use of conservation lands where possible and take maximum advantage of already-existing rail, highway and similar rights of way for any pipeline.
Elected and appointed officials at the local, state, and federal level must ensure that if pipelines need to be sited, they are sited properly. Your voice matters to them. Please let them know that this matters to you.
Engineers Suggest Alternate Routes For Gas Pipeline – Details To Be Shared Monday, July 7th
Tri-Mont Engineering Co., the firm hired by Beaver Brook Association to seek alternative routes for the proposed gas pipeline has suggested three of them and their representatives have met with engineers of Kinder Morgan to discuss their feasibility. In keeping with our belief that public and transportation rights of way and utility corridors should be considered as pipeline siting first, Tri-Mont assures us that each of these potential alternative routes avoids not only Beaver Brook conservation lands, but minimizes impact to all conservation lands in the area. It will ultimately be up to the construction firm to decide whether they will select any of the routes presented or stick with their originally proposed one through Beaver Brook property. Representatives of Beaver Brook will be sharing these alternative routes with those communities potentially impacted. Beaver Brook will present at the Hollis Board of Selectmen’s meeting in the Community Room on Monday, July 7th at 7 pm and at the Brookline Selectboard’s meeting in the Town Hall Meeting Room on Monday, July 7th at 6:30 pm. Public comments will be heard at the following week’s meeting (July 14th) of the Hollis Board of Selectmen. Additional meetings with other communities have been requested or confirmed for the coming weeks.
Regardless of what pipeline routing decision is made the trustees and staff of Beaver Brook Association extend sincere thanks to all those who have supported our efforts to protect the easements on the conservation lands we all hold so dear.
Lawn signs supporting Beaver Brook’s efforts to re-route the proposed natural gas pipeline are now available. With a donation of $30 or more to the Beaver Brook Pipeline Defense Fund we will reserve your “Protect Conservation support Beaver Brook” sign for you to pick up during normal business hours (9 am – 3 pm, M-F) at our Maple Hill Farm office. Those who have already made a donation to the fund may also pick up their sign. Watch your email for updates of Beaver Brook’s position and activities regarding the pipeline. Contact our office at 603-465-7787 if you would like to be added to our email distribution list.
May 21, 2014 Update: The volunteer trustees of Beaver Brook Association take very seriously their legal and fiduciary responsibilities to protect the properties that have been entrusted to them over the last half century and we are committed to keeping you informed of what we are doing to re-route any pipeline that threatens the land on which conservation easements have so recently been completed.
Thank you to all of the people who have communicated their support of Beaver Brook’s opposition to the proposed site of the Northeast Expansion Project pipeline and to those who have donated to the Beaver Brook Pipeline Defense Fund. In first defending its own conservation easements Beaver Brook continues to oppose the targeting of any conservation land as the presumed path of least resistance. While large tracts of conservation land in common ownership may be enticing for pipeline construction companies their permanent alteration for that purpose is not in the public’s best interest. In fact it may be diametrically opposite the intention of those who spent years of effort and resources to place the land in conservation in the first place. Other routes including utility and transportation rights of way, rail lines (abandoned or active), etc. should be thoroughly investigated and would not permanently alter conservation land nor intrude on individual property. These alternatives are perhaps more complicated to construct and done so at a higher cost, but it is burden that is worthy of enduring for the greater good. Our elected officials should encourage the New Hampshire Energy Facility Site Evaluation Committee (NHEFSEC) to consider the alternatives.
Here is what’s been done to date:
- Beaver Brook has contracted an attorney who specializes in environmental law to represent our interests in keeping the pipeline from our properties which are protected from development by conservation easements.
- We have learned that only professionals can propose an alternate route that government will listen to and so we have hired an engineer who has experience in seeking out and proposing alternate routes using as many existing rights of way as possible, thereby avoiding conservation land.
- Representatives of Beaver Brook have met with the Selectman of the Town of Hollis to share information and to keep them apprised of activities of mutual interest as well as the possibility of divergent interests.
- Representatives of Beaver Brook have had meetings with Tennessee Gas Pipeiline and separately with Liberty Utilities.
- Our Pipeline Defense Fund has raised over $30,000 to help finance the expenses of hiring the above mentioned professionals.
- We have ordered lawn signs that say “Protect Conservation – Support Beaver Brook”. These signs will be available for sale at $30 each for any homeowner who wants to place them on his/her lawn. All proceeds will go directly to the Defense Fund.
1) Contact each of our elected officials (whose names and addresses appear below) urging them to oppose the permanent alteration of our conservation land by the routing of any natural gas pipelines. In your own words suggest that they ask the New Hampshire Energy Facility Site Evaluation Committee (NHEFSEC) to find an alternate route rather than one across lands specifically set aside in conservation. Other routes including utility and transportation rights of way, abandoned rail lines, etc are all options that have not been investigated and would not permanently alter conservation land nor intrude on individual property. Our elected officials should encourage the NHEFSEC to consider the alternatives.
2) When they become available purchase and install a “Support Beaver Brook” lawn sign.
3) Contact Beaver Brook with any information that may help.
4) Keep informed of what is happening south of the state line by visiting www.nashobatrust.org and other websites.
NH State Representatives & Senator:
District 27 James P Belanger : 32 Plain Rd Hollis, NH , 03049-6248
Carolyn M Gargasz : PO Box 1223 Hollis, NH , 03049-1223
District 40 Gary L Daniels : 127 Whitten Road Milford, NH , 03055-3228
Senate District: 12 Peggy Gilmour, 126 Depot Road, Hollis, NH 03049
US Senators – New Hampshire
US Representatives – New Hampshire
Representative Carol Shea-Porter (D-01) 1530 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 02515 https://shea-porter.house.gov/
Representative Ann McLane Kuster (D-02) 137 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 02515 http://kuster.house.gov/
Pipeline Update – May 6, 2014
Beaver Brook Association has been working diligently on defending our conservation easements from the proposed lateral pipeline by Tennessee Gas Pipeline. We have engaged legal counsel to represent the organization and are engaging an engineering firm that can help evaluate alternative routes and design a route that will better satisfy all parties. In the next 2-3 weeks we have several meetings scheduled with various project stakeholders to present our ideas and to find the best ways to accomplish our goals. While we believe there is a demand for more gas in New Hampshire, we also believe there is a route for this gas that minimizes the impact on any conservation land. We hope to provide another update at the end of May.
As you can imagine all of this work is costing Beaver Brook a lot of money. Now is the time to fight this pipeline from coming through this conservation land we have fought so hard to preserve. Please help us out by donating to assist Beaver Brook Association’s efforts, you can donate by clicking here and putting Property Defense Fund in the designation box, or send a donation to Beaver Brook Association 117 Ridge Rd, Hollis, NH 03049 and indicate it is to go in the Property Defense Fund.
Apr 17, 2014 Beaver Brook Association strongly opposes using conservation land to locate the proposed Northeast Expansion gas pipeline by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline company (a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan). We are a Hollis, NH non-profit organization that has worked diligently over many years to acquire and protect 2,000 contiguous acres of land from development.
We recognize that because we have been successful in acquiring many contiguous parcels and protecting them with conservation easements from being built out, the builders of roads, pipelines, and large government developments will inevitably target our land as a convenient location or route for their projects. Our land is under easement, but that will not protect it from projects that can invoke eminent domain to overcome the objections of land owners.
Beaver Brook Association is not against progress or energy, but we do strongly oppose specifically selecting conservation areas for pipeline routing. From all appearances, land conservation and preservation holdings throughout New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are being targeted by Tennessee Gas, completely the opposite reason for which the organizations and restrictions were created.
If this tactic is successful, it will be repeated in case after case. Beaver Brook Association feels that alternative routes should be aggressively pursued, such as existing right of ways, utility corridors, rail road beds, and the highway system. Land protections for conservation purposes must not be set aside solely in the interest of financial gain.
–submitted by Drew Kellner, President Beaver Brook Board of Trustees in conjunction with the Beaver Brook Land Protection Committee.