Gas line explosion, sinkhole collapse raise new concerns about Bluegrass Pipeline
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The gas line explosion in Adair County and the sinkhole collapse in Bowling Green were miles apart. But those events have renewed concerns about the controversial Bluegrass Pipeline project.
People who live near the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline say recent events have confirmed their greatest fears about the project.
"We feel that these are a warning to Kentucky that this sort of pipeline construction project, the Bluegrass Pipeline is extremely dangerous," said Bob Pekney, who lives in a rural area near Frankfort.
Bob and Deb Pekny moved to Kentucky from Florida five years ago after they found their dream home, five acres near the Kentucky River.
But their dream is now a nightmare since their property is just a half-mile from the planned Bluegrass Pipeline.
"My concern is that this home and all the dreams that we have wrapped up in it, and possibly our lives could all be lost," said Deb Pekny.
The Peknys point to the gas line blast in Adair County and the sinkhole collapse in Bowling Green as evidence of the danger.
"There have been pipelines recently that have ruptured because of collapsing ground around them. The explosion last night is another awful example of how dangerous all gas pipelines are," said Bob Pekny.
The pipeline would stretch through 13 Kentucky counties.
The company has publicly emphasized its safety record, including in a recent interview with WDRB.
"When residents see those other explosions, what can you do to assure Kentucky residents that something like that wouldn't happen here?" asked WDRB's Valerie Chin.
"We work as hard as we can to ensure safety, to follow all the rules and regulations to the best we possibly can," responded Bill Lawson of the Williams Co.
Unlike the Adair County line, the Bluegrass Pipeline would pump more dense natural gas liquid. The Peknys claim that would make an accident even more catastrophic.
"This would be a deathtrap for the 23 houses that are just along this river," said Deb Pekny.
So the Bluegrass Pipeline debate comes down to a classic case of risk vs. reward. The reward of new jobs and tax revenue versus the potential risk to people who live nearby.
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