PITTSFIELD, Mass. (Legal Newsline) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy and Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton announced Dec. 29 that Tennessee Gas Pipeline LLC will pay $640,000 to compensate for conservation land acquired to build a pipeline in Berkshire County.
“This settlement sets a very high bar for the value of conservation land taken by eminent domain in Massachusetts,” Healey said. “We work hard to protect conservation land across our state, and we are pleased that this settlement requires Tennessee Gas to provide important mitigation relief during the construction of the project and assure no net loss of critical conservation land in the area.”
Tennessee Gas agreed to a $300,000 payment to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The DCR will then use the funds to find new conservation land that fits the same ecological profile as the area Tennessee Gas bought. An additional $300,000 will go toward mitigation and improvements to Otis State Forest.
“The financial mitigation package that the commonwealth will receive represents the tireless work of the state to ensure that the taking of conservation land through eminent domain is placed at an extremely high value,” Beaton said. “This package will allow the state to acquire additional land for future preservation that will truly benefit generations of people within the Berkshire County region and beyond.”