AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Kinder Morgan recently received one of several permits needed to move forward with its pipeline expansion plan in Otis State Forest in Sandisfield. 22News found out that plan, includes installing new pipeline in Agawam.
22News spoke with Kinder Morgan spokesperson, Richard Wheatley. He said the pipeline expansion plan would help generate more natural gas for three natural gas companies. However, none of those companies actually service Agawam, or western Massachusetts.
We called Agawam’s Department of Public Works to see what they knew about the expansion. DPW Superintendent Christopher Golbda told 22News Agawam’s conservation committee granted Kinder Morgan a permit back on September 10th 2015.
According to Kinder Morgan’s website, the expansion calls for three services loops, two in western Massachusetts. The first, a 3.81-mile-long pipeline in Sandisfield. The second, referred to as the “Connecticut Loop” would actually be in Agawam. Kinder Morgan wants to put 8.26 miles of pipeline to run adjacent to and connect with the pre-existing compressor station on Suffield Street. It would run to Connecticut.
Wheatley told 22News the three companies receiving the natural gas are:
By clicking the links above, you can see neither of these companies actually service Agawam.
22News spoke with Columbia Gas spokesperson Andrea Luppi. She said Columbia Gas is the only gas company that services Agawam, and they do get their natural gas from Kinder Morgan. However, Luppi admitted she was not aware of Kinder Morgan’s plan, but said that’s likely because Agawam will not see any benefits. She said there are no capacity issues in Agawam.
Kinder Morgan estimates the total cost of the project will be $85,670,181. Wheatley said because the pipeline expansion in Agawam would connect to the pre-existing compressor station, there would be “less of a disturbance” there if the expansion were to be permitted.
Wheatley told 22News several state permits are still needed before the pipeline is approved. He said Kinder Morgan is also waiting for Connecticut permits to be approved. Then, Kinder Morgan would need federal approval.
22News will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest information, on-air and on WWLP.com, when it becomes available.
*Initially, Agawam’s Mayor and the city’s DPW said Kinder Morgan had not informed them about the project. That was later proven to be false.