TOWNSEND -- A petition asking the town to pass a nonbinding resolution against a natural-gas pipeline that has been proposed through Northern Massachusetts had more than 200 signatures as of Wednesday, the number needed to force selectmen to call a Special Town Meeting to address it.
The petition calls for selectmen to stand in opposition to the pipeline, proposed by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and its subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company LLC, as well any other similar project that may be proposed. The resolution is nonbinding, but would show a united front against the pipeline.
Once a few extra signatures are collected and 200 of them are certified by the town clerk, the petition will be brought before selectmen, said Emily Norton, a Townsend-based conservation activist and founder of Friends of Willard Brook. She said she plans to bring the petition to the town clerk by Friday.
"Voting on that nonbinding resolution, it's a strong statement that our town is united in the stance that we do not want this particular fracked gas pipeline to come through town. It's just a very strong statement that I hope the governor hears," Norton said.
The petition is being passed around at meetings, as well as door to door.
"There are several volunteers going around their neighborhoods and going to any big gatherings in town," Norton said.
Norton said that because of the way that Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. approached residents to ask for permission to survey the land before approaching the town government, the town was initially left with lots of questions.
"They didn't know anything about it and that wasn't their fault. That's part of the problem of the way this whole pipeline process has been happening. It really hasn't been an open process and it needs to be, with full disclosure about what's going on and the opportunity for public input," Norton said.
Follow Chelsea Feinstein on Twitter and Tout @CEFeinstein.