Land owners and environmentalists are gathering in Frankfort Wednesday to protest a proposed pipeline that would carry flammable liquids through several counties in northern Kentucky. A partnership of two energy companies announced a plan earlier this year to build the underground pipeline.
The Bluegrass Pipeline would carry natural gas liquids from sources in the northeast to a connection in Breckinridge County. A proposed route for the pipeline would also go through other counties in our listening area, including Hardin, Nelson, Meade, and Larue.
Environmental groups, including Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, are planning to take a petition to Gov. Steve Beshear's office Wednesday afternoon. In a statement, the groups say they are concerned the pipeline project will use eminent domain laws to cut a pathway through privately owned lands.
Several landowners have voiced opposition to the project, and local governments in Franklin, Scott and Marion counties have passed resolutions opposing the pipeline.
Land agents are in Kentucky trying to secure easements for a proposed interstate natural gas liquids pipeline that would go through an estimated 18 counties. And residents of some of those counties are gearing up for a potential legal battle over pollution and safety concerns.
The proposed Bluegrass Pipeline announced by companies in Oklahoma and Texas would connect natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia with export centers on the Gulf Coast.
One proposed path of the pipeline would extend through northern Kentucky southward into Nelson, Larue, Hardin, Meade and Breckenridge counties. Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts had scheduled a meeting with company officials and the public that was to be held Tuesday morning, but the company cancelled, citing an illness and the need to resolve issues related to the pipeline’s potential route through Ohio.
Mary Ann Chamberlain, a Nelson County native whose family owns property in the county, told the Courier-Journal that the proposed route would cut through scenic and sensitive areas of the commonwealth and could break apart and pollute surface and groundwater.
A spokesman for one of the natural gas companies says hundreds of property owners in Kentucky will likely be approached in the coming months with requests for access to survey their land and possibly buy easements along the proposed pipeline path.