FRAMINGHAM – A Tennessee-based gas company is cutting down trees, and destroying the look of a Framingham neighborhood, according to residents.
For the last couple of weeks, crews from Kinder Morgan have been cutting down trees in the Pheasant Hill neighborhood in Framingham.
“Two weeks ago, we had a big cedar tree in our front yard, now we don’t,” said Mary Kate Feeney, who lives in that neighborhood.
Feeney said she was told by Kinder-Morgan employees the tree needed to go to due to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations, that require a 30-foot clearing around the gas pipeline.
“The irony is they cut down a lovely evergreen I planted back in the 80s,” said Feeney. “McDonald’s gave out trees in Happy Meals to encourage tree planting to fight deforestation. Sadly, this tree met its demise due EPA regulations.”
“Kinder Morgan is going along the Tennessee Gas Pipeline and clear cutting a 30-foot-wide swath. It is clear that the Tennessee Gas Company has an easement in that area, but what is not clear are the terms. They just showed up and started clear cutting, without notice, explanation, opportunity to question, or a by your leave or beg your pardon. Christmas trees that were planted by children 40 years ago have been cut down,” said resident Suze Craighead.
Feeney said the “whole thing is a shame because it has changed the character of folks’ property and our neighborhood. But I am not sure there was anything we could do about it.”
“It is entirely possible that they (Kinder Morgan) have the right to do so, but they should be put to the test. They should be required to prove that they have the right to clear cut over the 30-foot-wide easement the way they are doing. We know there is an easement, but we do not know the terms. They could have just had an easement to lay the pipe and no right to control the vegetation over the easement,” said Craighead, a real estate attorney, who lives in the Pheasant Hill neighborhood.
Craighead’s property has not been affected, but is trying to help her fellow neighbors.
Some residents of the neighborhood said they received notification of the work from Kinder Morgan, and other neighbors said they were never notified.
“If you arrive home to find large trees removed from your property and your lawn looks like it has had heavy equipment running back and forth over it, you can blame Kinder Morgan for not notifying you,” wrote Colleen McLaughlin on a local Framingham bulletin board.
McLaughlin also contacted Framingham Source about the issue last week. She said trees were cut down on her property, and trees as old as 50 and 60 years have been tore down in her neighborhood, without notification.
Town Manager Bob Halpin told Framingham Source on Friday that he has not any luck reaching or talking to officials from Kinder Morgan.
Source called Kinder Morgan last week, but has not receved a call back as of 6 a.m. Monday.