Sep 26, 2015 10:38 AM

Amherst negotiates changes to the Kinder Morgan pipeline route

AMHERST - Revisions to the proposed route for a controversial natural gas pipeline would shift it away from the Souhegan River and some residential cul-de-sacs.

According to the Telegraph of Nashua, Amherst town officials negotiated the new route with the energy company Kinder Morgan.

"The route is still not what we would like, e.g. the Amherst Christian Church is only about 240 feet away from the pipeline," said John D'Angelo, selectmen's representative to a pipeline task force created by the town. But he said, overall, the route is less disruptive.

The earlier plan for the underground pipeline would have gone through about four miles of town, including the Ponemah Bog and several residential neighborhoods.

Residents living on cul-de-sacs there had said they would be trapped if there was an accident.

The new route still enters Amherst from Milford but has been shifted about 500 feet south where it crosses Route 122. The route continues through an industrial park and touches Hollis before crossing into Merrimack.

In June, the task force wrote a letter to federal regulators detailing the reasons it believes the high-pressure pipeline exploits New Hampshire for the benefit of Massachusetts.

The new route will be part of Kinder Morgan's filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Company spokesman Allen Fore said he anticipates FERC approval in fall 2016 and the start of construction in January 2017.

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