After experiencing tremendous local opposition, in October oil and gas pipeline company Kinder Morgan dropped their plans to transport hazardous natural gas liquids from Ohio to Texas via a repurposed 75-year-old, 2-foot diameter pipeline.
The Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline has carried natural gas, rather than the proposed gas liquids, across six states since the early 1940s. The proposal entailed reversing the 964-mile long pipeline’s direction and adding 200 miles of new pipeline to reach petrochemical markets in Louisiana and Texas.
Kentucky citizens, local governments and environmental groups fought the project over the past three-and-a-half years. Boyle, Madison, Marion and Rowan counties in Kentucky formally opposed the project, as well as organizations such as Eastern Kentucky University, Berea College and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.
Pipeline critics argued that natural gas liquids are more dangerous than natural gas due to its explosion and asphyxiation risks as well as its potential to pollute ground and surface water supplies, including Lexington’s drinking water source.
In October, Kinder Morgan announced they still plan reverse the pipeline flow but will continue shipping natural gas instead of switching to liquids. Louisville attorney Tom FitzGerald with the Kentucky Resources Council told InsideClimate News that “we would certainly scrutinize any new compressor stations and any changes in pressure for this 70-plus-year-old line.” — By Kennedy Kavanaugh