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Gas Pipeline Route Through the Hill Country Worries Some Landowners

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In this instance, a landowner’s best and only tool is their easement agreement. The Permian Highway Pipeline, as it’s called, is planned as a common carrier — meaning, it will transport fuel for other companies. When this happens, Kinder Morgan will have eminent domain powers. This is a term for the ability to seize private property for public use. “There’s not a lot you can do as a landowner, other than educate yourself about what types of things you need to have in an easement agreement to protect yourself, and determine if they’re making you a fair offer,” Billy Howe, associate government affairs director for the Texas Farm Bureau, told the statesman.com. The Texas Farm Bureau is supporting recently filed legislation with respect to easement agreement provisions in support of fair practices, which is hoped to ensure the eminent domain process is fair and transparent for the private landowner.

Kinder Morgan officials have stated that they’re making every effort to route the pipeline in as short a distance as possible. They’ve also laid out a 600-foot swath in which to adjust the route as necessary. However, an attorney for the landowners is claiming that the process of routing the pipeline hasn’t been transparent.

Gas Pipeline Route Through the Hill Country Worries Some Landowners

Photo: Pixabay.com

The positives of the Permian Highway Pipeline Project include the creation of jobs, the movement of gas to market that might otherwise be flared into the air, and (according to a company spokesperson) property easements are paid for at fair market value by Kinder Morgan.  The company notes that over 90 percent of property acquisitions come about through agreement with landowners and not through eminent domain.

In the meantime, the education of home and landowners in the path of a pipeline is happening over time. This isn’t something new to Central Texas, but rights awareness does appear to be.  Landowners are coming out in large numbers to rights information meetings coordinated by the Texas Farm Bureau for improved awareness. Kinder Morgan continues to work with communities in the parts of Texas that will be affected by the Permian Highway Pipeline Project, planning information sessions and providing experts to advise on relevant issues. Landowners and homeowners continue to educate themselves on the process and learn their rights in a development-oriented economy that might sometimes view them as stumbling blocks to growth. Kinder Morgan hopes to break ground on the Permian Highway Pipeline in the fall of 2019 and have it fully operable by late 2020.

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