Story shed light on pipeline issue

Published 1:24 pm Thursday, November 9, 2017

Dear Editor,

Your front page article and the Oct. 31st engineer’s letter on the dire environmental consequences of NGL (natural gas liquid) pollution were tremendously enlightening. Our community, state and nation simply cannot take the risks involved in “repurposing” Kinder Morgan’s aging pipeline for transmission of this deadly compound.

America’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission fell far short of evaluating all the perils of NGLs conveyed through a pipeline that would not be approved under modern metallurgy certification. Both The Advocate-Messenger and metallurgical engineer Charles Ferguson (author of said letter) are to be commended for the comprehensive information conveyed in recent newspaper editions.

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To further substantiate concerns over Kinder/Morgan’s pipeline being used for NGLs, both the pipes and welding compounds are in question after seven decades in the ground.

Ferguson cites profound inadequacies in the process of producing steel during the 1940s. Predictable “inclusions” (foreign bodies) would, according to his expertise, weaken the pipes, making them susceptible to corrosion. Inclusions are akin to flaws found in some diamonds, significantly bringing down their value — albeit without threat to property, farm animals or human life. Coupling these concerns with the pipeline’s age could be tantamount to catastrophic leaks and immeasurable disaster.

No responsible corporation would move ahead with such a questionable pipeline without indemnification insurance against the financial losses it could incur should a breach in its pipeline occur. Yet who among us could come out whole from a litigious “award” or out-of-court settlement: for farmland destroyed, livestock killed or loss of human life. Be assured any lawsuit would last for years, a further detriment to the aggrieved.

Danville City government and Boyle County Fiscal Court are working diligently to seek further time and examination of all factors surrounding this controversial proposal. While Kinder Morgan claims they will for now delay further action, we must not believe they will over the long haul sacrifice their investment.

Please join with our community leaders: we need concerned citizens coming forth to preserve safety and the pristine character of our region.

Tom V. Ellis