Kinder Morgan suspending work on Palmetto Pipeline project - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Kinder Morgan suspending work on Palmetto Pipeline project

Palmetto Pipeline map. Palmetto Pipeline map.

Kinder Morgan has announced it will suspend further work on the Palmetto Pipeline project.

The billion-dollar pipeline would pass through the Savannah area to transport fuel from South Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida.

It's been a long process for those opposed to it, including a local environmental group that has been fighting for more than a year.

"I've seen an uprising that I've never seen with any of our other issues - on both states, South Carolina and Georgia - clearly a lash back against what was obviously a bad project from the get go,” said Tonya Bonitatibus, Savannah Riverkeeper.

Wednesday marks a small victory for Bonitatibus and others who have been opposed to the 360 mile fuel pipeline, which would have run through a large part of the area, affecting more than a million people.

Kinder Morgan was hoping to build on the property of some landowners via eminent domain - the government right to acquire private property for public use - but that request was denied and last week Georgia lawmakers passed a moratorium on pipeline building in the state.

Kinder Morgan posted this statement on the company's website:

Notice: Kinder Morgan has suspended further work on the Palmetto Pipeline project, following the unfavorable action by the Georgia legislature regarding eminent domain authority and permitting restrictions for petroleum pipelines. While this legislative action was disappointing, we remain committed to providing customized transportation solutions to our customers.

WTOC reached out to company representatives Wednesday evening, but they would not answer further questions and said they had nothing else to add in addition to the statement.

Although it's a time of celebration for Bonitatibus, she says this whole process exposed loopholes in the law in both South Carolina and Georgia, so there is still work ahead.

"We're not done. This is one project in a long line of many that could come. And I'm not saying that we should not have industry come or that we shouldn't have these types of projects come in, but we need to make sure that our citizens are protected and that we're doing things in the right way so that everybody benefits,” said Bonatatibus.

By the way, Georgia lawmakers dealt a setback to another proposed pipeline with their action last week - the Sabal Trail pipeline - which would carry natural gas from Alabama to Florida and pass through southwest Georgia.

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