As a resident of Pepperell for 20 years, I would like to address all who are pleased to live here on a subject of deep concern.
There is something HUGE coming to town and NOW is the time to face it down.
What is it? HIGH PRESSURE METHANE GAS PIPELINE proposed to be installed through Pepperell and surrounding areas within three years. After completion of surveys going on right now, application to FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) will take place and construction will begin. Also included in this plan is an enormous compressor building with emissions-releasing stacks on a parcel of their choosing comprising 15 acres.
How important is this issue? The following items are at stake:
the AIR we breathe
the WATER we drink
the TAXES we pay
our PROPERTY VALUES
our CONSERVATION LANDS and WATER
our SAFETY and that of future generations
This is not speculation. It is a FACT that there have been 990 natural-gas transmission-line accidents with 137 injuries and 34 fatalities since 2000. People have been displaced from their homes. Ruptures in the lines have and will continue to occur with a casing of concrete fracturing and completely failing within 50 years.
This pipeline requires a clearance width of 50 feet (140 feet during construction). It will be maintained to prevent plant and tree growth in perpetuity with toxic HERBICIDES. This pipeline will stretch 250 miles across Massachusetts, requiring a compressor building every 50 to 60 miles. Air samples at these stations include benzene; sulfides; toluene; and methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times more powerful than carbon.
This pipeline requires clearing, excavation and sometimes blasting, using huge trucks and heavy machinery. It is slated to pass through wild, ecologically sensitive areas; our Pepperell Springs Conservation Area; alongside our town well; beneath the Nissitissit and Nashua rivers; and, possibly, through a neighborhood near YOU. They can bypass local, state and federal laws.
The appalling thing is that despite well-paid-for advertising by this multi-billion-dollar industry, it is NOT the clean alternative to oil it claims to be. In fact, there will be so much surplus that we would be paying taxes to finance this $2.7B-plus project to export its excess overseas! We clearly need to explore already proven renewable energy sources to go forward as promised in state and federal mandates toward clean, safe and healthy alternatives.
Isn't it time to get active in preventing corporate greed, which is exploiting our homes and resources?
Educate yourself by visiting Nashoba Conservation Trust's website at nashobatrust.org and nofrackedgasinmass.org. Sign petitions, write your state and federal reps and senators and go to meetings, etc.
This THREAT is now in our backyards. We all need to do EVERYTHING in our power to prevent it from happening.