Bluegrass Pipeline gets easements in Nelson, LaRue

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By Forrest Berkshire, Landmark News Service

The companies seeking to run a pipeline through Nelson County have secured 12 easements as of this week, according to papers filed with the Nelson County Clerk’s Office.

Thirteen deeds filed Thursday show the companies looking to run the natural gas liquids pipeline paid out $161,128 to Nelson County property owners.

The easements run along the county’s eastern border, ranging from the Bloomfield area down to New Haven. Landowners received between $6,500 and $19,540 for granting permanent 50-foot wide easements across their properties.

“We are paying extremely generous amounts for those easements,” said Scott Carney, who works in strategic outreach for Williams, one of the partners in the Bluegrass Pipeline project

As of Tuesday, about 28 percent of the easements needed for the project have been secured, Carney said.

Carney acknowledged the project has garnered strong opposition from some quarters in the state, and, he said, the company’s tactics of acquiring rights have been adjusted accordingly.

“Given the unique nature of Kentucky, we are putting our money where our mouth is,” Carney said.

Carney said the company was initially caught off guard by strong opposition from Kentucky residents concerned over the environmental impact that could result from a leak of the toxic chemicals or an explosion. Opponents have repeatedly cited safety violations by the company in other states as reasons to fight the project.

Carney said that in other areas the company operates in, such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, people are more familiar with pipelines, and residents have a higher “comfort level” with the transportation method.

“The reaction (in Kentucky) is considerably different,” Carney said.

Carney said that is one reason the company is moving forward with cutting checks for easements, rather than securing options, which is standard in other states.

“We are taking a risk as a company,” Carney said.

One risk in purchasing the easements is that once secured, the easement could become essentially landlocked if surrounding property owners refuse to sell.

The pipeline is proposed to cross 13 counties in Kentucky, and Carney said easements have been secured in 10 of those. Carney said the company has bought more than 50 miles.

“Where we have a presence, we are getting signatures,” Carney said.

Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP want to construct the pipeline that would carry natural gas liquids, a byproduct of natural gas refinement, from shale oil fields in the northeast to the Gulf of Mexico, where it would be used in the manufacture of many consumer products such as bottles, carpet and other plastic products.

The project would connect two existing pipelines that are being converted to carry NGLs. The portion to be constructed would enter Bracken County and connect with the Texas Gas Transmission system in Hardinsburg.

In neighboring LaRue County, the clerk’s office has recorded six deeds for easements, also filed on Thursday, which totaled $116,276.

As part of the agreement, according to the deeds recorded with the county, the property owners agree not to sell, lease, transfer, grant, convey, assign, encumber or mortgage the property for three years, unless allowed by the easement agreement.

According to the Nelson County deeds, cross-referenced by the The Kentucky Standard with the Nelson County Property Valuation Administrator’s public records, the property owners and location of the easements and amount paid are:

• Reginald G. Dones Jr. and his wife Mary Alice, 6036 Woodlawn Road, Bardstown, $13,720, sold Oct. 4

• Larry G. Slaughter, 1465 Clarktown Road, New Haven, $10,920, sold Oct. 17

• Daniel J. Dones, 5940 Woodlawn Road, Bardstown, $13,180, sold Oct. 4

• M&T Construction Inc., Bloomfield, a tract of land off Green Chapel Road near the intersection of Ockerman Lane, close to the Spencer County line, $9,620, sold Oct. 12

• Margaret Breeding, of Lebanon, a tract of land along Springfield Road in Botland between the two ends of Botland Loop Road, $13,000, sold Oct. 17

• Donald C. Downs, of Bardstown, a tract of land at the corner of Green Chapel Road and Ockerman Lane near the Spencer County line, $15,600, sold Oct. 16

• Emmett R. Brown, of Bardstown, a tract of land on Campground Road, three lots down from the intersection with Yates Caney Creek Neck Road and Springfield-Bloomfield Road, near the Washington County line. $15,772, sold Oct. 20

• Thomas Marion Masterson and his wife Elizabeth, 6220 Howardstown Road, New Haven, $19,540, sold Oct. 9

• Ronald J. Dones and his wife Angela, 170 Thomas Lane, Bloomfield, $6,500, sold Oct. 10

• Arthur A. Henley and his wife Mary, 6228 Howardstown Road, New Haven, $16,396, sold Oct. 16

• Billye A. Jury, 305 Leonard Road, New Haven, $12,740, sold Oct. 14

• Betty Schnurr, 9339, of St. Moritz Drive in Louisville, address of easement unknown as of press time

Additionally, Paul Emmanuel of Bardstown sold easements on two properties in LaRue County for $28,080 and $24,480.