By SAM EVANS-BROWN
A natural gas pipeline developer says New Hampshire is now its preferred route for a brand new project it hopes to build in 2017.
Kinder Morgan, a Texas-based deveoper, had initially planned to route the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline through Northern Massachusetts. After grass-roots groups and several politicians pushed back against the plan, the developer began to explore alternatives.
The 77 miles of the pipelines would cross through seventeen towns near the state’s Southern border. A bit more than 63 miles of that pipeline would be buried underneath existing power-lines in rights-of-way owned by Public Service of New Hampshire.
According to company filings the pipeline would have to cross hundreds of wetlands and bodies of water, including major rivers, and would pass through 8 miles of state forest land.
The pipeline would cross into New Hampshire in Winchester, and back into Massachusetts again in Pelham.
If the project is built, the company estimates it will pay the state nearly $17 million dollars a year in taxes, and hire 520 temporary workers during the construction phase.
Assuming it is granted all the necessary permits, Kinder Morgan says it hopes to begin construction in 2017 and finish in twenty months.