The New Hampshire Attorney General announced last week that his office has filed a motion to intervene in Tennessee Gas Pipeline proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Tennessee Gas, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, is seeking a certificate of public necessity and convenience to construct and operate a natural gas pipeline, of which approximately 70 miles would run through the Granite State.
“This project could potentially have significant impacts on the State and its citizens, including the hundreds of property owners whose lands will be affected. I will be participating in the FERC process to protect the State of New Hampshire and its citizens through the proper enforcement of New Hampshire’s consumer protection, antitrust and environmental laws, as well as applicable federal laws,” Attorney General Joseph Foster said in a Jan. 15 press release.
If granted, “intervention” would give the Office of the Attorney General full party status in the FERC proceedings, which will enable the Office to closely monitor the project, participate in the review process and raise issues important to New Hampshire citizens, according to the press release.
Several other state agencies are also seeking intervention in the FERC proceedings, including the Governor’s Office of Energy and Planning, the Public Utilities Commission, the Department of Environmental Services, the Fish and Game Department, the Department of Resources and Economic Development, the Site Evaluation Committee and the Department of Transportation.
The filing of the motions to intervene followed the FERC’s distribution of a notice of extension of their comment date for the NED project due to an “inadvertent error” between the dates of Dec. 24 and 27, and Dec. 31 and Jan. 3 that prevented those seeking to use eFiling and eComment on the Commission’s website to do so.
The FERC said interested parties could either file a motion to intervene to become involved in the Commission’s review of the project or file comments with the Secretary of the Commission.
Town Manager Kevin Smith wrote in an email the Town received notice from the FERC announcing the filing extension and decided in consultation with the Town Attorney the better option was to file comment, “as it accomplishes our goal of making our opinion known to FERC while also not incurring potentially thousands of dollars in legal fees as a result of intervening.”
In his letter to the FERC, Smith notes “of particular importance” is “the Town Council’s stated opposition to the location of the proposed NED Kinder Morgan pipeline in the Town of Londonderry.”
Included with the filing was the Council’s resolution, adopted on July 20, which states the Council does not support the location of the pipeline in Londonderry because “the pipeline will create no direct benefit to the residents of Londonderry, and the disruption to the residents of Londonderry caused by the construction of the new pipeline may outweigh the benefits to the Town and its residents.”
Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH also took a position against the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline project, saying she will maintain that position going forward unless and until important questions and concerns from New Hampshire residents are sufficiently and meaningfully addressed by the FERC and the Department of Energy (DOE).
Ayotte said she joined members of the New Hampshire congressional delegation in repeatedly pushing federal regulators and Kinder Morgan to provide answers to the questions residents have raised – particularly with regard to the threshold need for this project, the safety concerns involved, and potential interactions with other projects, as well as the potentially significant impact on local communities.
The Town has compiled a list of abutters to the proposed pipeline in Londonderry, which is available on the Town’s website at HYPERLINK “http://www.londonderrynh.org” www.londonderrynh.org.