Residents in Hartford and West Hartford are saying ‘no’ to a proposed gas pipeline, but the company behind the project said it is needed.
If the project goes according to plan, it could begin construction in 2017 and be finished about a year-and-a-half later.
Right now, the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company has a gas line that runs through portions of West Hartford, but the company wants to build an adjacent gas line as part of a larger 400-mile northeast energy direct project, which will expand from Pennsylvania through Connecticut to New Hampshire.
While the company recently met with West Hartford residents, many left with more questions than answers.
“We’re not saying we don’t understand the need to increase capacity. But we do need to ensure it’s done in a safe way,” said West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka.
The big concern is the impact the pipeline would have on the surrounding area and the water supply, which is why the town council recently voted against the plan.
Hartford City Councilor Cynthia Jennings said during a press conference on Thursday that she has some of the same concerns about how the gas line would impact Hartford’s water supply.
“Hartford elected officials, Hartford residents, and Hartford environmental leaders have been excluded from the process. Even though this gas pipeline could affect our water,” Jennings said.
She is proposing a resolution against the building of the pipeline.
“We want to be at least informed and briefed specifically on what the risks are to our water supply when you take a gas pipeline and build it through our watershed,” Jennings said.
In a statement, the company said “We are continuing project outreach to educate the public, officials, landowners and other stakeholders about the project and its benefits for the region and, so far, have held more than 70 project presentation and open house meetings to discuss the project. We are open to scheduling additional meetings as requested.”
Residents are concerned about what could also happen to MDC’s reservoir in West Hartford if the project goes through.
“Just take a walk, it’s beautiful,” said Robin Kipnas of West Hartford.
The Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company is a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan and said the plans are preliminary and could change based on community feedback.
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