Deerfield files negligence claim against U.S. government


DEERFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Franklin County town of Deerfield is filing a negligence claim against the U.S. government to fight plans for a natural gas pipeline through Franklin county. The claim is one of the town’s many steps to try and fight against the pipeline being built.

Kinder Morgan, who will install the pipeline, currently transports natural gas from the Gulf of Mexico to the northeast through the Tennessee Gas Company pipeline. Deerfield claims the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can’t constitutionally regulate the transportation of natural gas to sell overseas. The 300 mile long pipeline is a $4 billion project, and many of the opponents to the project say they’re concerned the amount of gas flowing through that pipeline far exceeds the amount that could be consumed in New England.

“Not sure I like the idea of the pipeline tearing up people’s farms and stuff in the interest of getting energy,” Deerfield resident Matthew Baj told 22News,”in what appears to me the eastern part of the state and it kind of leaves western Mass out.”

The Deerfield Board of Health last Fall asked Kinder Morgan end any activity dealing with the pipeline, because of unreasonable risk to residents’ health and welfare.

“If there ends up being a gas leak from one of the pipes or something like that, that’s kind of a scary situation,” says Laurie Welton of Greenfield. “But if it’s a thing that helps us out, why not.”

The town’s legal claim is asking to be reimbursed for the $674 the town had to pay to hold public meetings on the issue.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company will host an open house Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. at Greenfield community college to answer any questions from the community.

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