Skip to content




LOWELL — The natural-gas pipeline proposal that has inspired protests statewide may be on the verge of switching its route to go through Southern New Hampshire rather than central Massachusetts, an official for Kinder Morgan Energy Partners said Monday.

Richard Wheatley, a spokesman for Kinder Morgan, said that while the company was still evaluating alternatives, a route that travels along existing power-line easements in Southern New Hampshire is being seriously considered.

“I can confirm that the New Hampshire power line alternative is emerging as a preferred alternative route for a portion of the main line,” Wheatley said.

Kinder Morgan will be filing a new report with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on or around Dec. 8, Wheatley said. If any changes are made to the preferred route, they could be addressed in that filing.

He said he could not speculate on whether the originally proposed route would still be on the table if the New Hampshire alternative were to become the preferred path.

The New Hampshire route was one of several alternatives unveiled by Kinder Morgan in a FERC filing earlier this month, most of which had been deemed not viable by the company.

Under the New Hampshire route, the pipeline would move through western Massachusetts and turn north at Northfield. It would travel through Southern New Hampshire along power-line routes, moving through Litchfield, N.H., before cutting south through Pelham, N.H. and ending in Dracut.

The originally proposed route travels east through Massachusetts, hitting towns including Ashby, Townsend, Pepperell, Dunstable, Groton and Tyngsboro before ending in Dracut.

Supporters of the pipeline say it would bring natural gas to New England to fill a need for affordable energy during peak usage times.

Opponents say the pipeline would damage the environment, infringe on property rights and promote a continued reliance on fossil fuels.

Wheatley said the New Hampshire alternative was being considered because it would have fewer potential impacts on the land.

“If it is selected, the power line alternative would mean the benefit of using a power-line corridor,” Wheatley said. “It would create less ground disturbance and impacts relating to environmental concerns.”

Follow Chelsea Feinstein on Twitter and Tout @CEFeinstein.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.