A Berkshire Superior Court judge Monday said he plans to sign off on a deal to give Kinder Morgan a piece of Otis State Forest in Sandisfield. The land would be used for the company’s planned New York to Connecticut pipeline.
Kinder Morgan will pay the state $640,000 for the land under the settlement reached in December. The judge ruled in the company’s favor last spring, saying federal law trumped a state constitutional article designed to protect conservation land. That touched off a months-long battle over compensation.
Prior to Monday’s hearing, dozens of protesters staged what was billed as a funeral for Otis State Forest across from the Pittsfield court house.
“Sadly, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has not adequately defended this constitutionally protected land,” said Jean Atwater-Williams, a Sandisfield resident. “It has traded the public trust for pieces of silver.”
The project still faces appeals by citizens groups at the state and federal levels.