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Gas Pipeline Route Through the Hill Country Worries Some Landowners

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Kinder Morgan, a Houston-based company, is planning a $2 billion pipeline to transport natural gas from the Permian Basin to the market along the Gulf Coast. The project supports the growing market in the area, performing what the company has stated is integral to the Texas economy. However, some land and homeowners in the Texas Hill Country have serious reservations about the project, and they’re not being timid about expressing those concerns.

Kinder Morgan currently manages 25K miles worth of pipeline in the Lone Star State. The pending natural gas pipeline to the Houston area is said to be creating 2,500 jobs in construction, resulting in 18 full-time employment positions once it’s finished. A company spokesman said that the process of plotting the route for the pipeline necessitates that environmental issues be taken into account, and a statement from the company has cited that it “will help continue to accelerate the development and job creation from the booming oil and gas activity throughout Texas.”

Gas Pipeline Route Through the Hill Country Worries Some Landowners

Photo: Pixabay.com

But in response, residents and landowners along its proposed 430-mile route have cited that the 42-inch steel pipeline will travel a course which is home to underground water reservoirs of Central Texas as well as endangered species. They’re looking to have the project route planned elsewhere, negating the need to go through Gillespie, Blanco, Hays, and Caldwell counties. Fears that a leak might lead to an explosion, contaminate the water, or poison the animals are just some of the scenarios that have been discussed.

Kinder Morgan officials have said that this pipeline is proposed to sit at a minimum of three feet underground and will likely go a minimum of 30 feet below riverbeds. In the meantime, a prior leak in the company’s line has been the source of a lawsuit. The cause of another leak is still under investigation. The process of voicing concerns and having them heard has also become a convoluted one for the land and homeowners of the Texas Hill Country. Ramona Nye is the spokeswoman for the Texas Railroad Commission, which is tasked with pipeline regulation. Nye stated that “protection of public safety and our natural resources” is the agency’s “highest priority,” but also noted that it “has no jurisdiction over the routing or siting,” which is determined by the owner of the project.

Gas Pipeline Route Through the Hill Country Worries Some Landowners
Photo: Pixabay.com

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