A pipeline poisons the wells in Hill Country

A pipeline poisons the wells in Hill Country

From the moment Kinder Morgan and its business partners announced that their 430-mile Permian Highway Pipeline would cross the Texas Hill Country, landowners, environmentalists, elected officials and groundwater protection agencies along or near the route have fought tooth and nail to move it or stop it. And they openly warned of the precise danger landowners such as Albright now face: disturbing the “karst” features below their property. Like underground Swiss cheese, they serve as conduits for groundwater that, in a…

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Texas moves ahead on discharging oil wastewater, even as EPA balks

Texas moves ahead on discharging oil wastewater, even as EPA balks

Environmental officials in Texas and other western states are moving ahead on plans to allow oil and gas companies to treat drilling wastewater and discharge it into rivers and streams, even as the Trump administration balks at endorsing the practice amid widespread questions about public health effects. In a report last month, the Environmental Protection Agency not only outlined concerns from scientists and environmentalists about the toxins in the hundreds of billions of gallons of wastewater produced each year by…

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Sierra Club urges court to halt construction on parts of Permian Highway fracked gas pipeline

Sierra Club urges court to halt construction on parts of Permian Highway fracked gas pipeline

Late Friday evening, the Sierra Club filed a motion for preliminary injunction in its lawsuit against the Permian Highway Pipeline. In late April, the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit arguing that the Army Corps failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it approved the project without first conducting the required analysis of environmental impacts, providing for public participation, or considering alternative routes. The motion filed today urges the U.S. District Court for the Western District of…

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Armed with Eminent Domain, pipeline projects continue to burden landowners during the pandemic

Armed with Eminent Domain, pipeline projects continue to burden landowners during the pandemic

Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan is cutting a 400-mile line across the middle of Texas, digging up vast swaths of private land for its planned Permian Highway Pipeline. The project is ceaseless, continuing through the coronavirus pandemic. Landowner Heath Frantzen said that dozens of workers have showed up to his ranch in Fredericksburg, even as public health officials urged people to stay at home. “They weren’t wearing masks. They weren’t wearing gloves. They weren’t practicing social distancing,” he said. Frantzen believes…

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E.P.A. limits states’ power to oppose pipelines and other energy projects

E.P.A. limits states’ power to oppose pipelines and other energy projects

The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced that it had limited states’ ability to block the construction of energy infrastructure projects, part of the Trump administration’s goal of promoting gas pipelines, coal terminals and other fossil fuel development… Specifically, it limits to one year the amount of time states and tribes can take to review a project and restricts states to taking water quality only into consideration when judging permits. The Trump administration has accused some states of blocking projects…

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Texas Railroad Commission investigating Kinder Morgan for ‘multiple’ erosion complaints

Texas Railroad Commission investigating Kinder Morgan for ‘multiple’ erosion complaints

The railroad commission said the complaints are regarding erosion control, and spokesperson R.J. DeSilva says “our investigation of the complaints is to ensure Kinder Morgan is in compliance with those commission rules.” He said the complaints starting coming in May 13. Following severe weather on May 15 and 16, Myra Corbett, a landowner in Blanco County, said her land has been affected by runoff and erosion due to the pipeline. She said she and another Blanco County landowner filed complaints…

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Kinder Morgan crew punctures Vista Ridge water pipeline

Kinder Morgan crew punctures Vista Ridge water pipeline

A crew working on an energy pipeline punctured the Vista Ridge water pipeline in Caldwell County Thursday while digging in the area, said a San Antonio Water System official. The crew members were working on the Permian Highway Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline for Kinder Morgan, a Houston energy infrastructure company. The Vista Ridge pipeline pumps in water to San Antonio from underground aquifers just northeast of Austin. Read more from Jackie Wang with The Rivard Report here.

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Blanco landowner concerned about stormwater runoff from Kinder Morgan pipeline construction

Blanco landowner concerned about stormwater runoff from Kinder Morgan pipeline construction

Following severe weather in Central Texas Friday night into Saturday morning, a Blanco landowner said her property has continued to be impacted by runoff from nearby construction of Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline. The pipeline will be 42 inches wide and is slated to travel from Waha in West Texas to the Katy area, passing through the Hill Country. Myra Corbett, who lives on a property in Blanco, told KXAN Saturday morning that she has continued to see mud and…

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Montana judge upholds ruling that canceled Keystone XL pipeline permit

Montana judge upholds ruling that canceled Keystone XL pipeline permit

A federal judge in Montana on Monday upheld his ruling last month that canceled an environmental permit for the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline and threatened other oil and natural gas pipeline projects with delays… Morris said that the Army Corps did not adequately consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on risks to endangered species and habitat when it renewed the permit in 2017. To allow the agency to continue authorizing new oil and gas pipeline construction “could…

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Opinion: Hays County’s watersheds are under attack

Opinion: Hays County’s watersheds are under attack

It is undeniable—the Austin area is booming. More people have moved to Travis County and its surrounding area, including Hays County. As populations grow, so must infrastructure, but matters become complicated in ecologically sensitive areas like the one we call home. The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, or CAMPO, has put forward a plan to address the transportation needs of the Austin area over the next 25 years. Both the Edwards Aquifer and the Blanco River watersheds will be negatively…

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