Pendleton County residents discuss proposed pipeline

Roughly 30 people came out to a meeting at the Pendleton County Public Library last night to learn more about the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline that may be coming through their communities.

The group was a diverse group of people, residents from all over the county who were farmers, beekeepers, schoolteachers, nurses, retirees, and more. They came together through a shared concern of water, health, property impact, and a lack of communication about the pipeline.

Stacie Meyer, who lives off Crooked Creek, organized the meeting to share concerns she had about the Williams Company, talk about some of her concerns, and get out information that many of the room felt more should know about.

Stacie described herself as a wife, a mother, and a beekeeper. She developed a map based on survey markers throughout Pendleton County to help her community understand where the proposed route was going to go through.

Some people talked about surveying happening without their permission. Others expressed similar concerns, as well as being misled by agents from the Williams company.

One couple, who have been approached a couple of times, said that the company made it sound like they could hook into the bluegrass pipeline to get heat and electricity for their home, that they could make tens of thousands of dollars, and that the project was being proposed as an alternative to the more well known Keystone Pipeline. However, they have since learned that the pipeline will be carrying natural gas liquids, and cannot be used for home usage. In addition, the average amount of income for people whose land will be used has been estimated at $25 a foot, and would not generate the income they had been told to expect. 

 “If a company is willing to be dishonest, I cannot trust anything from them. I can’t trust their safety records, that their check won’t bounce… That is probably the scariest thing about it.”

Many in the audience have contacted their fiscal court already and had heard the members had been receiving contradictory statements from the company, and the fiscal court said they welcomed people to contact them about the pipeline. Some in attendance were hopeful the Pendleton County Fiscal Court will soon follow the leads of the Franklin, Scott and Marion counties’ fiscal courts, and pass a resolution either asking the Williams Company to not go through the county or pushing for tighter environmental control.

Some in the room had expressed concern about feeling they were in this fight alone, and feeling that the company was too powerful. One woman asked how do we fight against something like this, and was told about the groups working together all over the state fighting this pipeline. Stacie Meyer also said, "We need to take the information we have out to our community, our neighbors, our friends." 

The group has decided to meet again on August 14 at the Pendleton County Public Library at 6 p.m. to continue discussing next steps, and learning more about what the Williams Company is doing in their community.

Note: some information was corrected and updated on August 9, 2013.

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