Bluegrass Pipeline facts presented to fiscal court

-A A +A

Questions continue about company's right of eminent domain, easements and surveys

By Ron Benningfield

LaRue County Fiscal Court magistrates listened as Sonya Mouser-Unoppet spoke to them about her research on the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline that could be laid across parts of LaRue County.
Mouser-Unoppet asked to be on the agenda for the Oct. 25 meeting.
She said Boardwalk Pipeline Partners and Williams have announced the intent to form a joint venture that would develop a pipeline system, known as the Bluegrass Pipeline, to transport natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania to the Gulf Coast.  
Natural gas liquids are a byproduct of natural gas drilling, and consist mainly of ethane, propane and butane. They’re used to make plastics and fuels.
Unoppet, who resides in Alabama but has parents and grandparents living in Nelson County, said pipeline survey stakes have been driven into the ground within 100 feet of her family’s property.  
Survey stakes have been noted in several areas of LaRue County.
“This is not a natural gas pipeline, but will be liquified gas that is explosive and contains known carcinogens plus soil and water contaminants,” she said.  “The lines will cross 700 waterways in Kentucky with 20 or 30 of them underground and the rest exposed.”
During her 15-minute presentation, she noted more oversight needs to be done on the proposal, landowners need to be more fully informed on easement agreement details, people should question just how many Kentuckians will be hired, both temporarily and permanently, and an environmental impact study needs to be completed.
“When we asked the Army Corps of Engineers why no impact study has been done, they said they weren’t asked to do one,” she said.
Unoppet was particularly concerned about the right of eminent domain, which allows an agency to condemn a property legally because the pipeline is considered for the common good.
“The company has been threatening us with the right of eminent domain,” she told magistrates.  “We don’t see how private companies can have that right.”
“I encourage you to discuss and inform the public on what’s happening and to consider passing a resolution opposing eminent domain by a private company,” she added.
She gave the magistrates an online site to update them on events:  www.nobluegrasspipeline.com.  
No action was taken on the matter.
The Associated Press reported last week that Bluegrass Pipeline has secured easements for 22 of its 182 miles in the state.
Over the entire 500-mile route from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, about 13 percent of the easements have been completed for the pipeline.
A company representative said Bluegrass Pipeline began purchasing right of way Oct. 1. The company expects to spend $30 million to $50 million to buy the 50-foot-wide easements in Kentucky.
Other business
The court concurred with Land of Lincoln Planning and Zoning’s approval of one acre of ground at 2709 Leafdale Road owned by Victor Kahill, Jr., to be rezoned from A1 to R1A.
Magistrates passed a resolution allowing the county to access an additional $247,649 for road paving projects from the state transportation cabinet.
The court renewed employee health insurance with Anthem, which Tommy Turner, judge-executive, said will save both the county and employees money, “in every case.”
Clyde Veirs, county road supervisor, reported crews chip sealed surfaces on Gravel Pit and Price Hill roads, Cannon Lane, and Post Office Loop; refilled dug-out spots on Gunning Lane; mow-trimmed St. Jochin Cemetery, DeSpain, and Morning Star roads; and repaired road shoulders on Price Hill Spur.
Editor Linda Ireland contributed to this article.