Resolution by the Berlin, MA Board of Selectmen

Resolution by the Berlin Board of Selectmen

Whereas, Kinder Morgan has proposed a new 30” high pressure gas pipeline through northern Massachusetts, as part of a Northeast Energy Direct Project hereinafter called the Project, and,

Whereas, the Project also proposes a new 12” high pressure natural gas pipeline, known as the Worcester Lateral, to be installed in Berlin and neighboring towns connecting the pipeline with a location on the Worcester-Shrewsbury line, and

Whereas , Kinder Morgan has identified properties in Berlin that it intends the Worcester lateral to cross but has declined to provide the town of Berlin with detailed and current information on the exact route it is proposing, and

Whereas, it appears that Kinder Morgan is proposing that the Worcester lateral cross some of the most scenic, historic, and environmentally sensitive farmland and open space in Berlin including conservation land owned by the town of Berlin, and

Whereas, a high pressure gas line, by its nature carries the potential for leaks, ruptures, or devastating explosions causing untold damage to property and lives, and

Whereas, the Project and the Worcester Lateral will destroy large amounts of forest,; wetlands, conservation land and farmlands and require maintenance in perpetuity of a 30 – 50 foot right of way, and

Whereas , the Worcester Lateral will adversely affect property values, adversely affect residents’ livelihood and otherwise negatively impact the integrity of the Town’s scenic character, and

Whereas, our energy challenges are better addressed through investment in energy conservation measures as well as green and renewable energy solutions, and

Whereas, Berlin and our neighboring communities have adopted comprehensive master plans, zoning bylaws, wetlands bylaws, and other land use controls to provide for the orderly development of our communities and the conservation and protection of our communities for future generations to come, as good stewards of the land should, and

Whereas, the elimination of environmental threats to our forests and streams from improvident development is the fundamental purpose for the adoption of our land use controls and master plans, and

Whereas, Berlin and our neighboring communities have publicly and privately set aside large tracts of land and restricted their development for conservation and open space purposes as part of their master plans

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Board of Selectmen of Berlin hereby declare they:

Stand in opposition to Kinder Morgan’s Energy Direct Project and to the Worcester Lateral; and

Stand in opposition to any and all similar projects that may later be proposed: and

Stand in opposition to any effort to locate the Worcester Lateral within Berlin’s borders; and

Will participate in and provide comments to any meetings held by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with regard to the Worcester Lateral, that question the need for the new gas pipeline, including the Worcester Lateral, and that identify alternative routes outside of Berlin; and

Will seek to intervene in any proceeding before FERC which seeks a Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience with regard to the Worcester Lateral and oppose Kinder Morgan’s application; and

Be it further resolved that the Board of Selectmen of Berlin hereby call upon our state and federal legislators and Executive branch officers;

To enact legislation and take any such other actions as are necessary to oppose such energy projects that go against our commitment to public safety, our environment, our economic well-being and sense of community.

This 8th day of September in the year 2014.

Berlin Board of Selectmen