The Palmetto Pipeline debate continues despite a well-attended DOT public hearing, May 7. In a contributive effort, both Gov. Nathan Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle stated their opposition earlier in the day to the $1 billion project that would route gasoline, ethanol and diesel from the Gulf Coast and from South Carolina to North Augusta, Savannah, and Jacksonville, according to an article published in theSavannah Morning News.
Likewise, majority of the public rightfully remains opposed due to valid concerns about the lack of transparency detailed in the project long term as well as the obvious environmental impacts threatening the safety of the river.
Devastation is evident by looking at the 300,000-gallon gasoline spill near Belton, S.C. as an example of one possible determinant if the pipeline is pushed through. An article in The Florida Times-Union highlights the ineffective clean up attempt still in effect four months after the S.C. spill, stating less than 2/3 of the spilled gasoline has been recovered and removed. Additionally more than 2,832 tons of soil has been removed and treated off-site. Lingering effects remain, threatening the safety and sustainability of soil, lakes and water supplies.
The legality of eminent domain was another hot topic expressed at the hearing. If passed, Houston, TX-based Kinder Morgan Inc., the company proposing the pipeline, would be granted precedent in eminent domain.
K.C. Allen, Project Coordinator for #PushBackThePipeline, stated “the power to dispossess landowners from their property rights for the Palmetto Pipeline falls into one man’s hands– Georgia’s Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry. He gets the final say when issuing a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity allowing Texas-based Kinder Morgan to separate a man from his land. #PushBackThePipeline learned this by filing a Freedom of Information Request with D.O.T.”
The public has a voice and can take a stand by sending comments addressed to Russell McMurray. Comments must be received by mail by May 15 to the following address:
Georgia Department of Transportation
10th Floor Office of Utilities
600 West Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
If you’ve already submitted a comment via email, it is advised to print the email and mail to the above address.
Ogeechee Riverkeeper Emily Markesteyn believes the proposed project could risk property rights as well as the natural resources we hold most dear.
“Kinder Morgan’s request to DOT is incomplete at best and leaves many unanswered questions as to the public need of this project. It is not in Georgia’s best interest to allow such a risky endeavor,” she said.
Stay up-to-date by following #PushBackThePipeline.