Community Actions

—— WHAT YOUR COMMUNITY CAN DO

• Talk to your town officials about enacting special by-laws or ordinances that limit the kinds of development or construction allowed in your town. Keeping them specific to activities and types of construction rather than a blanket statement on pipelines or gas infrastructure will help them remain non-prejudicial in the eyes of regulators.

• Have your town officials and boards comment to FERC on the impacts of the pipeline (or other infrastructure) on your community. Even towns not along the pipeline route (which could still shift during the permitting process) could be affected by a drop in business or quality of life or damage to the regional environment (water or air quality).

• Ask your select board or city council to consider a bylaw that energy used for municipal purposes come from clean energy sources, either locally generated, for purchased with RECs through programs like New England Green Start.

Consider having your town become a Green Community. The Green Communities Designation and Grant Program helps municipalities navigate and meet the five criteria required to qualify for grants that finance additional energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at the local level.

Participate in Solarize Mass. Solarize Massachusetts (Solarize Mass) seeks to increase the adoption of small-scale solar electricity in participating communities through a competitive solicitation process that aggregates homeowner buying power to lower installation prices for participants.

Windsor, Cummington, Goshen, and Worthington are in the program together this year (2016).  Marketing in all of these towns will start soon, and include a meeting at the town hall.
» Watch here for more information

SELECT BOARDS
• Resolutions, though not legally binding, can show the resolve of a town and take a formal stand. Added in with others, they can demonstrate regional opposition to fossil fuel expansion. Resolutions passed in the face of the Northeast Energy Direct project numbered over 100. Similar blocks of resolutions in upstate New York factored in to the eventual state-wide moratorium on fracking.
» See the resolutions passed against NED. Click on “Read Full Text” for each sample listed.

• If the pipeline company still needs to survey for a pipeline route, convince your select board to deny any request from the pipeline company for permission to survey town land.
» See the example of Montague, MA.

BOARDS OF HEALTH
Local Boards of Health may have sway over some phases of permitting of a pipeline project.

» See report on Deerfield, MA’s approach.
» Deerfield BOH Decision on NED
» Adopting Deerfield Determination Procedure