Bluegrass Pipeline officials meet with concerned community membe - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bluegrass Pipeline officials meet with concerned community members

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A crowded room full of concerned residents, members of the Environmental Quality Commission and representatives with the Bluegrass Pipeline gathered to discuss the project. A crowded room full of concerned residents, members of the Environmental Quality Commission and representatives with the Bluegrass Pipeline gathered to discuss the project.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The controversy surrounding a proposed Bluegrass Pipeline continues and representatives with the project answered questions from concerned community members in a meeting, Jan. 23.

A crowded room full of concerned residents, members of the Environmental Quality Commission and representatives with the Bluegrass Pipeline gathered to discuss the project.

The Bluegrass Pipeline would cut through 13 Kentucky counties and four states, transporting up to 400,000 barrels of natural gas liquids per day from the eastern part of the country to customers along the Gulf Coast.

Project officials say the pipeline will bring more opportunities to Kentucky.

"And over a 10-year period we estimate those new ad valorem taxes might generate about $136 million and there's also construction jobs that would occur during the construction phase of the project which will last about a year -- about 1,500 jobs," said Bill Lawson, vice president of corporate development at Williams Companies, Inc.

"They are 37 times safer than rail transportation," said Lawson, assuring residents that the project is safe.

Some residents say they're still concerned about their land, and nearby water,  while others worry about a leak or even an explosion.

"The risk of accidents is way too high. They say pipelines are safe. I disagree. I think pipeline accidents are typically much larger than trucking or rail accidents, " said concerned resident Rick Arendt.

"Our main concern is they don't seem to be willing to admit that pipelines leak, and that we've done a whole bunch of research and pipelines are leaking all over the country, " said concerned resident Bob Pekny.

Project officials say they have purchased nearly 65 percent of the easements needed from willing landowners for its Kentucky route.

While project officials tried to answer everyone's questions on Thursday night and put residents at ease about the project, there was one issue they didn't thoroughly discuss.

Due to pending litigation, they could not talk in depth about eminent domain and the project.

A lawsuit was filed in December, seeking an opinion on whether the project has the power to condemn land in Kentucky.

Attorneys for the Bluegrass Pipeline have asked a judge to dismiss it.

Project officials say they have purchased nearly 65 percent of the easements needed from willing landowners for its Kentucky route.

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