Altamaha Riverkeeper News

Palmetto Pipeline Stopped in its Tracks


March 30, 2016 – Augusta, GA – Kinder Morgan announced it was stopping work on its proposed Palmetto Pipeline project after encountering major resistance from landowners, citizens and a coalition of environmental groups and other organizations in three states.

The decision to stop work on the Palmetto Pipeline was posted on both Kinder Morgan’s website as well as the company’s on Wednesday afternoon. The statement reads:

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.

“We applaud Kinder Morgan’s decision to suspend work on a pipeline that is not needed and will not provide any benefit to Georgia consumers. Kinder Morgan, however, should do the right thing and announce that it is outright cancelling this unnecessary project rather than simply suspending it,” said Steve Caley, Legal Director for GreenLaw who has successfully fought this project on behalf of the Savannah, Ogeechee, Altamaha, and Satilla Riverkeepers and the Center for a Sustainable Coast before the Georgia DOT and the Superior Court of Fulton County.  “And it is still critically important that Governor Deal sign legislation passed by the Georgia General Assembly this past session imposing a moratorium on approval of permits for petroleum pipelines while the legislature studies this issue further.”

No Kinder Morgan representative has commented or released any statement thus far.

The Altamaha Riverkeeper, represented by Riverkeeper Jen Hilburn, was a part of the Push Back the Pipeline coalition that worked to secure legislation in both Georgia and South Carolina that would prevent eminent domain abuse by private petroleum companies like Kinder Morgan. In Georgia, HB 1036 awaits Governor Nathan Deal’s signature, while S.868 in South Carolina is on schedule to pass through the House of Representatives

Tonya Bonitatibus, Savannah Riverkeeper and spokesperson for the Push Back the Pipeline coalition, said, “We’ve succeeded in stopping a bad project and need to continue to make sure that we close the discovered loopholes in both states’ laws to protect our citizens and their rights.”

Jen Hilburn, Altamaha Riverkeeper “Working together we have protected our rivers, our wetlands and our private property rights.  We thank all our communities, landowners, legislators, citizens and businesses that have come together to stop this unneeded and unwanted pipeline.   We must continue to be vigilant in finalizing legal protection of our resources.”

Push Back the Pipeline is a coalition of concerned citizens, landowners, more than 20 organizations and other groups across three states, who oppose the Palmetto Project. For more information, visit Push Back the Pipeline on Facebook
The Altamaha Riverkeeper is a grassroots organization dedicated to the protection, defense and restoration of Georgia’s biggest river—the Altamaha— including its tributaries the Ocmulgee, the Oconee and the Ohoopee.

There are so many ways that you can help keep our rivers clean and beautiful. Responding to Action Alerts or reaching out to your elected representatives. Find your way to get involved!