Aiken County pipeline aims to clean air, boost economy

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, Oct. 22, 2007

AIKEN CTY, S.C. -- Construction is now underway for a major pipeline in Aiken County running from a landfill in Aiken to a company in Beech Island. The project is designed to make the air cleaner and boost the economy.

They it is to make the air you breath cleaner and you may see more green in your pocket. Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority, Seimens Building Technology and Kimberly-Clark announcing a landfill gas to energy project.

It's about making your air cleaner and it'll be done over a 16 mile stretch in Aiken County.

"We announced we are taking 41,000 cars off the road today. Or you could say we just planted 59,000 acres of forest," says Congressman Gresham Barrett.

Or you could say, dropping oil usage by 500,000 barrels a year. Simply put: the landfill puts methane gas into the air everyday. Now, they will trap this gas and send it through a 16 mile pipeline. The gas will end up at the Kimberly-Clark Beech Island plant, where it will be burned to create steam.

"Not only to save the environment, to not only make us more competitive but to make us energy independents and that's exciting," says Congressman Barrett.

Environmentally -- drop the amount of harmful gases in the air. Economically -- profit made by the landfill will go to the taxpayers to drop the cost of waste management. And, this project could provide new jobs. It's a 15 year contract and the steam will help make bathroom tissue, diapers and training pants.

"There might be some traffic when we put the pipeline in but that'll be only temporary. It'll be good news for everybody involved," says Tom Colgrove with Kimberly-Clark.

Everybody, including you.

"Saving them money, saving us money and keeping greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere," says Colin Covington with the Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority.

This project will scan 9 counties in South Carolina and the Savannah River Site.

"The only negative is we can't take the hot gas in Washington D.C. and turn it into fuel," says Congressman Barrett.

Another benefit to this project is keeping industries going in the area. Under The Clean Air Act, it's important to keep the air quality within an attainment level. If that doesn't happen, it's possible industries would not come to the area and jobs might be lost.

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