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New England News

Judge Grants Tennessee Gas Access To Otis Forest

Pipeline opponents rallied outside Berkshire Superior Court in Pittsfield, Massachusetts for a hearing on the land access in April.
Jim Levulis
/
WAMC
Pipeline opponents rallied outside Berkshire Superior Court in Pittsfield, Massachusetts for a hearing on the land access in April.

A Berkshire Superior Court judge has granted Tennessee Gas Pipeline permission to access protected land in Massachusetts for a federally approved natural gas pipeline expansion.Judge John Agostini finds The Natural Gas Act allows Tennessee Gas to proceed with its Connecticut Expansion Project in Otis State Forest, but says that order is stayed until July 29. In April, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office argued that state lawmakers should be given time to act on legislation allowing access to the constitutionally-protected land. Representative Smitty Pignatelli, who opposes the project, is hopeful the state appeals the decision.

“I think the Legislature should weigh in on this and I think we need to do that before we adjourn,” said Pignatelli.

The Attorney General’s office and Tennessee Gas say they are reviewing the decision and considering their options.

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