Survey crews working for Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company will “begin preliminary survey activity along public roadways soon, and will potentially be in your area in the coming weeks. Survey will include setting control points by measuring distance and direction, and this may also entail the use of a helicopter to help refine a possible project route,” according to a hand-delivered survey notification dropped off at the Groton Board of Selectmen’s office Wednesday afternoon.
The survey notification was mentioned by Allen Fore, Kinder Morgan Director of Public Affairs, during the Board of Selectmen’s information session with Kinder Morgan representatives June 29. Kinder Morgan representatives explained their company’s “Northeast Energy Direct” proposal to run a 36-inch natural gas pipeline from one of its terminals in upstate New York to another in Dracut, Massachusetts. The tentative route goes through many town in northern Massachusetts, including Groton.
What’s a “control point?” Although Kinder Morgan representatives mentioned them in the meeting on the 29th, they didn’t explain what they were.
Richard Wheatley, Kinder Morgan Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs wrote in answer to a query: “Control points are established along a corridor, creating a grid of triangles. The intent is so that when any GPS reading is taken, either to delineate a wetland, mark the centerline, etc., it can be triangulated within the pre-established control points.”
“Because most modern land surveys are done by GPS coordinates, a surveyor will need to go out into the area being surveyed and triangulate three separate reference points. Once these three points have been established, that is the definition of a control point. Once a control point is defined, the surveyor has the ability to identify exactly where they are through GPS data, so long as they are within a control point.”
The notification goes on to state, “In determining the constructability of a proposed route, surveys will be conducted to gather information that will allow TGP to refine the pipeline design and, in consultation with regulatory agencies, determine the most appropriate route that avoids and minimizes impacts on critical habitats and lands.”