UPDATE | Palmetto Pipeline public meeting

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News 12 at 11 o'clock, Wednesday, May 20, 2015

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW)-- South Carolina property owners Ron Swank and Judith McCarthy have big concerns about Kinder Morgan's plan to build the Palmetto Pipeline.

"If Kinder Morgan gets imminent domain we will have no protection, it's that simple, but they'll have to fight us the whole way," Judith McCarthy said.

And both of them already have a the colonial pipeline on their property.

"We just don't want to second one," McCarthy said.
"I can't plant trees I can't put buildings there and I'm paying taxes on it." Swank said.

And now Swank has something else to worry about.

"I'm worried I don't want to lose my house," Swank said.

He's worried the new pipeline could run right through his house. So he came to get answers.

"I'm trying to get the truth," he said. "So far I'm getting a bunch of different answers."

He said Kinder Morgan explained his land won't be affected, but then he got a letter.

"The agent representing will be contacting you to discuss the activity to address any questions or concerns you may have," Swank read.

He's not the only one looking for answers. People were lining up outside and speaking their mind.

"The reason we're outside today is because we discovered Kinder Morgan was not actually going to take public comments and so we decided to set up our own area to select public comments to share those with our legislature to help them understand the South Carolinians do have a voice," Tonya Bonitatibus said.

This forum was not a question and answer format like others. Savannah river keeper Tonya Bonitatibus still wanted to get the opposition on the record.

"I want Kinder Morgan to hear from them and I want to make sure not even just Kinder Morgan but that our legislators, the people that are supposed to protect us hear from them," she said.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW)-- It's a chance for people in South Carolina to share their thoughts on a proposed pipeline cutting through the state.

There's a public meeting on Thursday at 6 p.m. to learn more about Kinder Morgan's plans for the pipeline. That's at the North Augusta Community Center.

News 12 will stream that meeting live here.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW) -- There will be a meeting on Thursday, May 7, for the public to weigh in on a proposed pipeline project expected to run through a number of counties in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Tonight's meeting is in Waynesboro at 5 p.m. at Augusta Tech's Auditorium.

News 12 will stream that meeting live here.

Here's a breakdown of the counties the pipeline will run through:

  • South Carolina: Abbeville, Aiken, Anderson, Edgefield, Greenwood and McCormick
  • Georgia: Bryan, Burke, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Richmond and Screven
  • Florida: Duval and Nassau

Thursday, April 30, 2015

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP/WRDW) -- A Texas company is working on plans to build a fuel pipeline from Florida to South Carolina.

The Greenville News reported that Kinder Morgan of Houston said it hopes to begin construction on the $1 billion pipeline next spring.

The proposal calls for the pipeline to lead to a 900,000 barrel tank farm in Belton.

The Palmetto Pipeline Project would run underground through 100 miles and five counties in South Carolina - Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick and Abbeville, before ending in Anderson.

Spokeswoman Melissa Ruiz says the company is talking with homeowners about allowing the pipeline to run through their property.

The pipeline could carry up to 167,000 barrels of gasoline, diesel or ethanol each day from Jacksonville, Florida, to South Carolina. It could begin operations in 2017.

The Savannah River Keeper has said Kinder Morgan is working to clean up a 300,000 gallon oil leak in Belton, South Carolina.

There will be another public meeting Thursday, May 7, in Waynesboro at 5:00 p.m. at Augusta Tech's Auditorium.

News 12 will stream that meeting live here.

Thursday, April 24, 2015

BURKE COUNTY, Ga (WRDW) -- The pipeline company will hold a public meeting in North Augusta next month.

The meeting will be at the North Augusta Community Center on May 21, 2015 at 6 p.m.

News 12 @ 11 o'clock / Wednesday, March 11, 2015
BURKE COUNTY, Ga (WRDW) -- Wednesday night was the last time for people around here to learn more about a planned pipeline. It would run from Jacksonville, Florida to Belton, South Carolina, and could save you some money at the pump, but not everyone is on board.

Burke County has been home to Anne Pitcher and her family for generations. "I have a very distant grandfather and he came over here with Oglethorpe and fought in the Battle of Bloody Marsh," Pitcher said.

So when she heard about her hometown being home to a fuel pipeline, she had some questions. "Initially I just wanted to know where this was going to run, how this was going to affect us that kind of thing," she said.

Environmentalists are concerned too. But despite the opposition, Kinder Morgan Vice President Allen Fore says there will be a lot of positive effects. "Additional supply means additional resources to lower the price of petroleum that will eventually go into your automobile," he said.

And he says it will bring potentially five hundred jobs to the state. That's something Jim Woslager is happy about, he works on the pipelines. "We need this. We need more infrastructure, we need to take care of us," he said.

But Pitcher, and others here are more worried about their land than their wallets. "And this is our history here, and to have it dug up and burned, I just couldn't go along with that," Pitcher said.

Fore says they're doing what they can to preserve that history, avoiding a revolutionary battlefield in Screven County. So while workers like Jim are excited for what this could bring. "It's for us. It's for us. And we need this," Woslager said.

But others are not convinced. "Initially when I came in they asked us if we were for or against it. I didn't know, I put down a question mark, But I went back, I changed it. I'm opposed," Pitcher said.

Kinder Morgan says around sixty properties in Burke County could be affected by the pipeline. But they say eighty percent of the property that will be used for this project is already in use by things like another pipeline or power line, so it shouldn't affect neighborhoods that don't already have something running through them.