10 more arrested in protests against Kinder Morgan pipeline

Activists have been protesting Kinder Morgan project for months

SANDISFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Ten people were arrested Wednesday as protests continue over a natural gas pipeline running through Otis State Forest in Berkshire County.

Demonstrations have been going on since the spring to protest Kinder Morgan’s $93M project, which adds four miles of new underground pipeline, as well as makes upgrades to an existing compressor station.

The Sugar Shack Alliance, which has been formed to oppose the pipeline project, wants the land in the state forest preserved, and says that Kinder Morgan is in violation of the state constitution. The company counters that it has received all necessary state and federal licenses.

Wednesday’s arrests were made along South Beech Plain Road in Sandisfield. According to Massachusetts State Police Media Relations, all ten of the arrested suspects have been charged with either trespassing or disorderly conduct.

They are:

  • Michelle Vitti, 67, of Arlington – Trespassing
  • Fergus R. Marshall, Jr., 68, of Chicopee – Trespassing
  • Micah L. Carpenter-Lott, 24, of Sutton – Trespassing
  • Ryan Smart, 27, of Cambridge – Trespassing
  • Vivienne Simon, 67, of Northampton – Disorderly Conduct
  • Rema Loeb, 84, of Plainfield – Disorderly Conduct
  • Dennis P. Carr, 62, of Cummington – Disorderly Conduct
  • Erik W. Burcroff, 57, of Plainfield – Disorderly Conduct
  • Steven D. Botkin, 62, of Pelham – Disorderly Conduct
  • Priscilla A. Lynch, 65, of Conway – Disorderly Conduct

These are not the first arrests at the construction site, there have been dozens of people taken into police custody since the springtime, including 98 year-old Frances Crowe, an activist from Northampton. Charges against many of those protesters have since been dropped.

Kinder Morgan expects to complete the pipeline project by November.