Police: 18 arrested at protest of pipeline access to forest

By The Associated Press

Massachusetts State Police say 18 protesters have been arrested for blocking two access roads at a demonstration against a natural gas pipeline project.

Protestors run a chain across one of the main access points for workers on the Tennessee Gas Pipeline project Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at the Otis State Forest in Sandisfield, Mass. The protestors did not leave their posts until State police officers and the Berkshire County Sheriff's Department gave them notice and arrested nine people. Stephanie Zollshan, The Berkshire Eagle via AP./The Berkshire Eagle via AP)

SANDISFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts State Police say 18 protesters have been arrested for blocking two access roads at a demonstration against a natural gas pipeline project.

The protesters were among a group of more than 50 who were at Otis State Forest in Sandisfield early Tuesday to oppose an easement that allows the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. to widen its right of way through the forest.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that one group crossed into land now closed to the public. It reports that another group occupied a second access road.

Police say the demonstrators were arrested and charged with trespassing after refusing requests to move from the roads.

The federally-approved Connecticut Expansion Project extends existing pipeline infrastructure in Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut, adding 4 miles of new underground pipeline in Massachusetts.

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