Shelby fiscal court says no to Bluegrass Pipeline after hearing from members

This morning, the Shelby County Fiscal Court passed a resolution opposing the construction of any part of the Bluegrass Pipeline or any other Natural Gas Liquids Pipeline in Shelby County.

The resolution passed unanimously by all six magistrates and Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger.

The vote makes Shelby the first county not currently in the path of the proposed pipeline to officially oppose the pipeline through a fiscal court resolution.

Although the current proposed path of the Bluegrass Pipeline does not cross Shelby County, it does run along the Shelby-Anderson County line in southeastern Shelby County. Speakers in favor of the resolution noted that the proposed path has already entered two previously non-path counties because of opposition in path counties, and the Anderson County path could easily move into Shelby County.

KFTC Shelby members Leslie McBride, Patrick King, Mary Dan Easley, Horace Brown, Bill Young and Lisa Aug all spoke in favor of the resolution.

The vote came three weeks after Leslie McBride and Patrick King met with Rothenburger to urge him to sponsor a resolution opposing the pipeline.

Seven county fiscal courts have now passed resolutions opposing the Bluegrass Pipeline (Franklin, Scott, Anderson, Marion, Washington, Pendleton and Shelby) with Woodford poised to do so. Franklin County went further by passing a one-year moratorium on hazardous waste pipelines crossing county roads.Magistrate Michael Riggs proposed an amendment adding other pipelines to the resolution, which also passed unanimously. Magistrate Tony Cariss noted that the pipeline issue is being taken up by the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACO) at its November meeting.

Paul Whitman, Shelby County Director of Emergency Management, also spoke in favor of the resolution, noting the danger the pipeline would present to first responders. Rothenburger made the same point regarding the lack of information about all the chemicals the pipeline would carry. "As a first responder, that scares the bejeebus out of me," he said.

Rothenburger said the county may not have the power to stop the pipeline, but passing the resolution sent a message about eminent domain to Governor Beshear and the General Assembly that "we don't think this company is a common carrier, so they can't just walk into our county and take property away from our property owners. We need to do this on a local level and give people on the state level our official position on where we stand."

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