In our last post, we spoke about the controversy that has arisen from Kinder Morgan’s pipeline proposal. Much of the controversy, we noted, is connected to the possible exercise of eminent domain in building the pipeline. It isn’t clear at this point how far the project will progress, but one thing that can be said with certainty is that the company has its opponents.
One significant expression of opposition to the project is Push Back the Pipeline, which is an effort founded by Savannah Riverkeeper and composed of individuals and groups who disapprove the pipeline plan. One of the incidents the group has used to illustrate some of its concerns is the leakage of over 330,000 gallons of gasoline from a pipeline in Belton, South Carolina. The leakage is due to a structural failure that was first reported back in December.
The company has already cleaned up 177,000 of the spilled gasoline and has removed almost 3,000 tons of soil for off-site treatment, and additional cleanup measures are in place to address the leak. Still, Savannah Riverkeeper points out that the spill is a good demonstration that the company’s claims that it can promptly discover and clean up spills are exaggerated.
It isn’t known whether the gasoline leakage will have a significant impact on the company’s ability to move forward with its pipeline project, but it certainly doesn’t help make a good case for the company’s safety record. Citizens are justifiably concerned about the prospect of a pipeline that could end up causing damage to the environment and potential harm to individuals.