SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Local leaders continue to voice their opposition to a proposed multi-million dollar Eversource gas pipeline that will run through the Greater Springfield Area.

There’s more opposition towards the proposed Eversource pipeline to be built between Longmeadow and Springfield.

The project is currently under review by the Energy Facilities Siting Board and Massachusetts State Senator Jacob Oliveira is sounding the alarm, but some elected officials made it clear that they are strongly opposed to this project.

“It doesn’t align with the climate goals that the commonwealth has set,” said Senator Oliveira. “… Putting in place another fossil fuel pipeline in the city, like the city of Springfield, which has been ranked as the asthma hot zone and asthma capital of the United States for several years in a row is very short-sighted.”

According to Eversource, a new pipeline is needed in order to provide what they’re calling a “necessary reliability” to the approximately 58,000 customers in the Greater Springfield Area. They note that the current pipeline is aging and portions of it are nearly 70 years old.

In his written testimony Senator Gomez remains strongly opposed to the gas pipeline project because of the potential health hazards, detriment to the environment, and potentially increased service rates.

In a statement to 22News, Eversource Spokesperson Priscilla Ress said in part:

“This area is at the top of the list on our system for vulnerability to the many homes, businesses, and public safety services that rely on natural gas during the coldest days of the winter. And we remain focused on safely and reliably meeting their energy needs as this years-long regulatory process continues.”

Priscilla Ress, Eversource Spokesperson

Ress added that Eversource is working to help the Commonwealth achieve decarbonization goals.

“This does not meet our climate goals of 2050 and so hanging on the ratepayers a $33 million is not financially sound,” Senator Oliveira continued. “… Is not a long-term investment to ensure that we have reliable energy sources moving forward.”

You can read Eversource’s full statement below:

From offshore wind, solar, and networked geothermal to energy efficiency, electric vehicles and battery storage, we’re working every day to help the Commonwealth achieve decarbonization goals and enable a clean energy future. We also have a fundamental responsibility to ensure safe, reliable service for our customers who rely on natural gas for heating and cooking today and in the immediate future as this unprecedented energy transition takes place.
This project is solely to ensure safe and reliable service to existing customers or the approximately 200,000 people who would be without gas for a period of weeks in the winter if there were a problem with the sole, existing line that serves these customers. This area is at the top of the list on our system for vulnerability to the many homes, businesses, and public safety services that rely on natural gas during the coldest days of the winter, and we remain focused on safely and reliably meeting their energy needs as this years-long regulatory process continues.

Priscilla Ress, Eversource Spokesperson