Town of Hollis votes ‘NO’ to pipeline


Julie Christie

Citizens of Hollis cast their almost unanimous vote against the pipeline. Photo Credit: Julie Christie

Julie Christie, Editor-in-Chief

“We’re here to get arrows to fill our quiver of arguments,” proclaimed Mark LeDoux, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, to the crowd of more than 400 citizens that filled the gymnasium of Hollis Brookline High School.

On Saturday, citizens of Hollis gathered to vote against the impending natural gas pipeline that the energy company Kinder Morgan is building from Louisiana to stretch all the way to the Northeast of the country. The vote was on 14 articles written by town selectmen, which state the various reasons Hollis will vote against the creation of the pipeline.

Hollis Selectman Vahrij Manoukian talked about one of the motives behind the construction of the pipeline.

“This part of the country, the Northeast, needs energy,” said Manoukian, who credited the region’s history of bad winters to be at fault for the lack of energy.

But Manoukian also said that they “don’t want [Kinder Morgan] in our pristine community.”

The proposed map of the pipeline would go through various conservation lands, such as those owned by Beaver Brook, and cut through roads, including the newly paved Rocky Pond Road.

According to Paulo Petry, Landscape Conservation Planner at Nature Conservancy and ten-year resident of Hollis, one of the concerns with the pipeline could be its adverse effects on water supplies.

“There are two sides to the water safety,” said Petry. “During construction they can disturb land and release natural emissions into the water. They’re also going to have to blast to get the pipeline underground.”

Petry explained that the blasting could change the underground flow of water, which could both affect people’s wells and alter the natural filtration flow of the water, reducing its quality.

“There’s always an alternative with a least damaging solution,” said Petry, who opposes the route of the pipeline.

Petry continued to explain how with infrastructure like this, there is no “zero loss” and that the process with the least loss won’t always have the most gain.

There will be another public meeting on Monday, September 22 in the Town Hall at 7 o’clock.