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Boyle judge-exec asks Kinder Morgan to ‘permanently abandon’ NGL pipeline plan

Boyle County Judge-Executive Harold McKinney has added his name to the list of people writing letters to energy giant Kinder Morgan, asking it to cancel its plans to convert a natural gas pipeline.

McKinney sent his letter concerning Tennessee Gas Pipeline No. 1 and Kinder Morgan’s proposal to use it for transporting “natural gas liquids” (NGLs) on March 5. A copy of the letter was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on March 23, making it public record as part of the ongoing case before FERC concerning the pipeline conversion.

“This pipeline passes over the reservoir which supplies all of the drinking water to Boyle County and to most surrounding counties. It passes within 30 yards of one of our elementary schools. It passes within what Kinder Morgan referred to as the ‘Zone of Incineration’ to our hospital, downtown businesses, fire stations, police stations, the majority of  our residences and prime farm land,” McKinney’s letter states. “Once FERC ‘abandons’ the pipeline, then Kinder Morgan has stated its intention to transport natural gas liquids (NGLs) through this line that formerly transported natural gas. NGLs contain multiple known carcinogens that enter drinking water. NGLs are heavier than ambient air, so they ‘pool’ near the ground and create serious risk of asphyxiation and explosion for individuals near a leak.

“It is important to recognize that NGLs are not fuel, which helps with U.S. energy needs. NGLs are waste byproducts from fracking operations in Pennsylvania. Kinder Morgan is trying to find customers to purchase these fracking byproducts so they can be converted to low-grade plastics.”

McKinney sent his letter to Richard D. Kinder, executive chairman of Kinder Morgan Inc. in Houston, Texas, and Steve Kean, president and CEO of Kinder Morgan. Similar letters, also addressed to Kinder and Kean, have been sent — and filed with FERC — by the Bluegrass Area Development District, Madison County Fiscal Court and Madison County School District.

The letters all claim the pipeline conversion poses risks to the health and safety of local residents; and they all state the existence of the project and continued delays that have created uncertainty that harms local economies.

“During the three years while this project has been proposed, Danville and Boyle County, Kentucky, have had to pursue our goals while the cloud of this project thwarts our efforts towards economic development, job creation, physician recruitment, recruitment at our local colleges, recruitment of retirees to locate in our community and businesses to invest in our Main Street and downtown properties,” McKinney wrote. “The Kinder Morgan NGL hazardous liquids pipeline has a chilling effect on needed development in our community. Since Kinder Morgan is unable to market the NGLs/hazardous liquids, then we call upon state and federal officials to join us in our respectful demand that Kinder Morgan permanently abandon its proposal to transport hazardous liquids through our community and to make that abandonment known.

McKinney’s letter was CC’d to state Rep. Daniel Elliott, state Sen. Rick Girdler, U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.