Hope for challenging pipeline plan

Published 6:40 am Saturday, April 7, 2018

We first learned about the Kinder-Morgan proposal to pump deadly natural gas liquids (NGLs) underground through Boyle County in November of 2014. Back then, few were aware of its potential dangers. Thanks to our local newspaper, Danville and Boyle governments, the EDP board and a group of dedicated citizens — that has changed.

Now, we may have found a failsafe means of fighting Kinder Morgan’s quest for approval. Literally thousands of landowners hold deeds along the 960-mile pipeline from northern Ohio to the Gulf of Mexico. There may be hundreds in Boyle County alone. To move forward, Kinder Morgan needs uncontested easements — signed by landowners, either back in the 1940s or more recent times.    

Every easement agreement needs to be examined for validity and whether it has been duly recorded with local governmental entities. Each agreement serves as a vital link in the chain required for Kinder Morgan to succeed. Every easement document, should it fail this legal test (if an easement agreement exists at all) constitutes a “weak link” capable of halting use of the pipeline for transmitting highly explosive, deadly toxins.

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Today, additional groups, including Perryville City Council and Kentucky’s Senate are raising serious concerns about the terrible impact a leak would have on our environment:

• our irreplaceable farmlands could be rendered unusable for decades;

• livestock in our region could be sickened or killed;

• Herrington Lake’s multi-county water supply could be poisoned forever;

• future economic growth would certainly grind to a halt; and

• in a worst case scenario — human life itself would be gravely threatened.

Allowing Kinder Morgan’s pipeline to pressurize highly volatile compounds, then push them through a 70-plus-year-old, inferior steel pipeline is tantamount to inviting an environmental Armageddon. Those of us seeking guidance against this disastrous concept have reached dead ends at the state and federal level.

Landowners: Please take this letter as a call to action. Challenge Kinder Morgan’s legal hold on your landowner easements. Individually, you have a viable way to fend off allowing these toxins to flow beneath our businesses, near schools, neighborhoods and our sole regional source of life-giving water.

Tom Ellis

Boyle County