NED Occupies Most of Selectman’s Meeting

Mason NH, Selectmen meeting September 22, 2015. Executive Director of the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) Tim Roache met with the selectmen to check how things were going between NRPC and Mason.

Mason’s planning board is the primary user of NRPC’s services. NRPC fields Mason planning board applications and makes sure they are complete before coming before the board.

Lately NRPC has also tackled the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline requests (see here for example), and initiated an Energy Facilities Advisory Committee (EFAC) to study the pipeline and other regional energy ramifications. Each NRPC member town was allowed at least one resident on that subcommittee, with Steve Wells being the local Mason representative.

EFAC produced its white paper report on September 16, 2015.

The white paper’s executive summary starts out with the premise that “there is general agreement on the fact that there is a natural gas crunch in New England”, but then goes on to list numerous concerns about proposed solutions. The paper is a good read and can probably be used to justify most any preconceived opinion.

When presented to the full NRPC commission, according to Mr. Roache, the executive staff “took no position”. He did however point out the NRPC will be offering “mitigation services” should the pipeline be approved by FERC.

Selectman Moser thought this was all premature “because the route is not final”. However, he also stated that “if the thing was going to happen, we’re going to want to talk mitigation”.

All this reminded us that one town’s mitigation can become another town’s headache (we’d provide links to the Amherst/Merrimack tiff, but that is beyond the scope of this article). Suffice it to say that the early mitigators probably do the best and Mason doesn’t appear to be one of those (strictly our opinion from observing the selectmen).

Kris Cane who has been hired by the town to do environmental evaluation also appeared before the board.

The current secrecy around what may or may not have been found continued, so while an interim report may have been issued to the selectmen and conservation commission, the rest of us will have to wait.

Mr. Kane also talked “mitigation” in terms of swapping one protected wetland for another at Kinder Morgan expense. Those details are still premature, but he suggested the Conservation Commission should be prepared by looking at such possibilities sooner rather than later.

We’re not sure the conservation commission members present took his advice.

3 comments for “NED Occupies Most of Selectman’s Meeting

  1. Wedge
    September 23, 2015 at 20:43

    When they say New England, they mean Massachusetts. New Hampshire does not have a need for increased natural gas supplies. That explains why more than 96% of the pipeline supply will go to Massachusetts (Kinder Morgan stats).

    So how does this pipeline help New Hampshire? NH is a net exporter of electricity. No natural gas is going to Bow, NH to stop the closure of the Bow power generation plant. So we will lower NH electrical prices by closing NH power generation and pay for a pipeline that will promote out of state power generation.

  2. applehill2015
    October 2, 2015 at 22:16

    Subsequent to this meeting it is said that reps of KM attended select board meeting and answered
    Questions .True?

    • Wentworth
      October 4, 2015 at 11:22

      There appear to be no calendar entries on the town web site indicating any other selectmen meetings until October 13. We left the September 22 meeting when it appeared to be over. However, that probably doesn’t answer your question.

      We do however recall that when this all started the selectmen were adamant about not meeting with Kinder Morgan in private. We expect consistency, but that is no guarantee either.

Leave a Reply