Battle Rages on Over Proposed Palmetto Pipeline through Georgia, South Carolina, Florida
(APN) ATLANTA — The legal fight rages on between Texas-based Kinder Morgan, and environmental groups and property owners in Georgia and South Carolina, over the company’s proposed one billion dollar Palmetto Pipeline.
The controversial 360 mile Palmetto Pipeline would run off the existing Plantation Pipeline at Belton, South Carolina, then run through North Augusta and snake its way down the Savanna River, where it cuts across Georgia’s pristine coastline and into Jacksonville, Florida.
The Georgia counties the pipeline would cross are Bryan, Burke, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Richmond, and Screven.
The pipeline would transport up to seven million gallons a day of gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, and ethanol through Georgia to Jacksonville.
This biggest environmental threat is potential leaks on the pipeline.
The pipeline will cross the watersheds of five major rivers and freshwater coastal wetlands, which could contaminate drinking water, wells, and water resources in the event of an accident.
Environmental groups have joined the legal fight to stop the pipeline.
In Fulton County Superior Court during the summer of 2015, four riverkeeper organizations–the Savannah, Ogeechee, Altamaha and Satilla Riverkeepers–along with the Center for a Sustainable Coast, filed a motion to intervene in the pipeline’s appeal of the State of Georgia’s decision to deny Kinder Morgan the use of eminent domain to acquire private property for the pipeline.
One fortiable landowner is William S. Morris, who owns 20,000 acres along the pipeline path and could lose an eleven mile stretch of land to the pipeline.
Mr. Morris also owns newspapers in Augusta, Savannah, and Jacksonville. His newspapers have been covering every move in this battle.
Recently, the Augusta Chronicle newspaper release a damaging report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration of 5,600 pipeline leaks over the last twenty years, which spilled 220 million barrels of petroleum products into the environment.
That is an average of 280 leaks every year. Through November of 2015, there had already been 270 leaks resulting in nine fatalities, 46 injuries, and more than 280 million dollars in property damage, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
Kinder Morgan has been throwing money at communities in the area.
Kinder Morgan has donated 90,000 dollars over two years to South Effingham High School athletics; 30,000 dollars to other schools; 20,000 dollars to an anti-littering, Keep Savannah Clean campaign; and 20,000 dollars to the Aiken County YMCA, according to the Savannah Morning News.
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