Mass Audubon’s Pipeline Project Engagement - Connecticut Expansion Project

The Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. is also proposing a four-mile expansion of existing pipelines in southwestern Massachusetts, with the gas dedicated to serving CT customers. This project would cross lands that Mass Audubon assisted the Department of Conservation and Recreation in protecting in 2007 at Otis State Forest in Sandisfield. 

When the trial court ruled against the AG’s office, we encouraged them to appeal, but unfortunately the chances of a successful appeal under the federal Natural Gas Act were low. If the appeal had failed, the state would only have been compensated for a fraction of the project’s mitigation costs.

For this reason, the AG’s office settled out of court, negotiating a settlement of $640,000 for compensation to the state for conservation land taken by eminent domain during the construction of the pipeline (see TGPC v. Commonwealth Joint Motion).

The company will also have to identify and acquire additional conservation land “that provides ecological functions equivalent to the land impacted by the pipeline” such as the nearly two miles of pipeline through pristine Otis State Forest. Although we were not involved in any stages of the negotiations, Mass Audubon was ultimately satisfied with the final outcome and will monitor its implementation.