Natural gas company seeks federal OK for pipeline

PHILIP MARCELO, Associated Press

Kinder Morgan has begun the process of seeking federal approvals for a natural gas pipeline project through northern Massachusetts.

BOSTON (AP) — Kinder Morgan has begun the process of seeking federal approvals for a natural gas pipeline project through northern Massachusetts that has already garnered significant local opposition.

The Houston-based energy company on Monday filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking to use its so-called "pre-filing procedures."

A company spokesman says that process will help identify environmental issues before a formal application is filed. He said the company will submit detailed draft environmental reports that the public, including affected landowners, will be able to comment on during the process.

Environmental activists said Tuesday a statewide coalition intends to line up scientific and legal experts in preparation for fighting the proposal through the federal permitting process. Some local politicians have also already come out against the 250-mile, Richmond-to-Dracut pipeline proposal.

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