Kinder Morgan has filed a legal complaint against the City of Kyle, arguing a pipeline safety ordinance it adopted last month is illegal. The lawsuit is the latest clash between the company and opponents of the natural gas pipeline it’s planning through Central Texas.
The ordinance adds permitting and fee requirements, increases setbacks around pipelines and mandates that big natural gas pipelines be buried as deep as 13 feet underground in some places.
In its lawsuit, Kinder Morgan says the National Pipeline Safety Act and state law preempt local pipeline regulations.
Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell said the city is working on its response to the lawsuit.
“There are many communities throughout the state and region that have similar ordinances and we consulted those ordinances in the crafting of our own,” he said.
Kinder Morgan has described efforts to block the pipeline as a kind of "NIMBYism."
“There’s a regulatory process in place that we are following,” Allen Fore, Kinder Morgan's VP of public affairs, told KUT in late May. “In the middle of the game, some want to change the rules.”
Kyle, Hays County and private landowners sued Kinder Morgan earlier this year over the 340-mile Permian highway pipeline, arguing the way the company routed the line was unconstitutional. The company won that challenge, and it’s currently on appeal.
Kinder Morgan also faces a lawsuit over how the pipeline addresses endangered species in its path.