Environment | Law

Narragansett Tribe plans lawsuit after being denied role in contested pipeline

The Narragansett Tribe is planning to go to court to fight a contested natural gas pipeline that crosses its ancestral territory, The Waterbury Republican reports.

The tribe contends the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved an expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline back in 2016 without completing the consultation process and without adequate consultation, the paper reported. At issue are tribal historic sites located along the path of the project in Massachusetts.

"FERC did it all backwards," attorney Anne Marie Garti said at a December 2017 meeting on the issue, The Republican reported.

An anti-Tennessee Gas Pipeline pipeline prop. Photo: pennjohnson

The tribe's historic preservation office attempted to intervene the FERC's review of the pipeline expansion. But the request was filed too late, the agency determined in a January 10 order.

"The Commission’s consultation should commence early in the planning process and must recognize the government-to-government relationship between the federal government and tribes. The Commission complied with these requirements by initiating consultation with the Narragansett Indian Tribe," the order stated.

The tribe intends to take the case directly to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Garti told The Republican.

The Tennessee Gas Pipeline currently runs through several states, including Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. The expansion affects parts of the pipeline in those three states.

Read More on the Story:
FERC: Rhode Island tribe missed its chance to intervene in Massachusetts pipeline fight (The Waterbury Republican January 16, 2018)
Narragansett Tribe plans to sue FERC over gas pipeline approval in Berkshire County (The Waterbury Republican December 6, 2017)