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Energy & Environment

Hays County Revokes Permits For Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Pipes for Kinder Morgan's Permian Highway Pipeline are stacked in the Hill Country as the company begins work on the natural gas pipeline.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
Pipes for Kinder Morgan's Permian Highway Pipeline are stacked in the Hill Country as the company begins work on the natural gas pipeline.

The Hays County Commissioners Court has revoked permits it issued to let Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline project bore under county roads.

The move is the most recent flare-up in a longstanding battle between Hill Country landowners, local governments and the pipeline company.

Hays County took the action Tuesday after a pipeline accident in neighboring Blanco County. A crew boring under the Blanco River released drilling fluid into the watershed; landowners say that contaminated their well water.

Hays County Commissioner Walt Smith said commissioners pulled the permits to ensure the same thing doesn't happen there.

¨Until they can figure out what the process is and why it happened and what, specifically, their contractor did,” Smith told KUT, "we just want them to pause.”

Opponents of the natural gas pipeline have long contended the Hill Country’s unique karst geology, which allows liquids to easily flow into the local aquifer, makes it an unsuitable place to build.

The Blanco County drilling accident is also now the subject of a lawsuit between Kinder Morgan and local watershed groups. It’s one of the many suits filed by local landowners and governments to stop the project.

Got a tip? Email Mose Buchele at mbuchele@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @mosebuchele

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