An economic-development group representing Danville and Boyle County adopted a resolution Wednesday opposing the repurposing of a natural gas line that runs through 20 miles of the county.
“We oppose any changes to Tennessee Gas Pipeline that could negatively affect the health and safety” of citizens, the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership said in its resolution. The stance was adopted by a 14-0 vote of the board of directors, said Jody Lassiter, president and CEO of the partnership.
The Danville City Commission and Boyle Fiscal Court passed similar resolutions in June. The cities of Perryville and Junction City also approved resolutions, as did the local chamber of commerce, industrial foundation, convention and visitors bureau and two Main Street programs in Danville and Perryville.
Lassiter said it is rare and unusual for the partnership to take a position because all nine participating organizations must first act before the EDP takes a public-policy stance.
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The partnership said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should collect and review data to gauge the potential dangers of repurposing the line and reversing the direction of flow for the first time in the line’s 70-year history.
The existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline runs 256 miles through 18 Kentucky counties, from Greenup County in the northeast through Simpson County on the Tennessee state line.
Kinder Morgan proposes to change the product flowing through the pipeline — from natural gas to natural gas liquids — and to reverse the flow through that interstate line, so the current south-to-north flow of product would become north-to-south.
The pipeline crosses over Herrington Lake, the primary source of drinking water for Danville and other communities. Kinder Morgan wants to drill a new pipeline bore under the lake and through karst limestone. That plan poses significant risk to the community’s health, safety, welfare, environment and economy, the partnership said in a release.
Natural gas liquids are used by the agriculture, petrochemical and plastics industries. Materials derived from the petrochemical industry go into making many automobile parts, including tires, instrument panels, and seat cushions and padding.
Tennessee Gas Pipeline was put into service in 1944 during a wartime effort to bring natural gas from Louisiana to defense industries in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.