A Houston pipeline company is planning to build a new crude oil pipeline across the Hill Country that would almost certainly pass over the recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer, the main drinking water supply for the San Antonio region.
Landowners in Bandera County earlier this month began receiving notices from Enterprise Products Partners, a publicly traded company that specializes in transporting oil and natural gas, about a new pipeline that would extend from Midland County in West Texas to Wilson County southeast of San Antonio.
The pipeline’s route would continue across Midland, Upton, Reagan, Crockett, Schleicher, Sutton, Edwards, Real, Kerr, Bandera, Uvalde, Medina, Frio, Atascosa, and Wilson counties, the letter states. The letter asking landowners for permission to survey their properties does not include a map of the route.
Rick Rainey, Enterprise’s vice president of public relations, did not immediately respond to questions left in phone messages and an email Wednesday afternoon. Robert Black, a contract agent working for Enterprise who signed the letters received by Bandera County residents, confirmed the line is a 30-inch crude oil pipeline but declined to comment further.
The pipeline could prove controversial, much like Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway natural gas pipeline that has led to court battles. In June, a state district court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by landowners and communities along that pipeline’s route. Crude oil, however, would likely pose a greater threat to underground water supplies than natural gas in the event of a pipeline rupture.
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