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Pipeline company reveals details
palmetto pipeline project
The proposed Palmetto Pipeline would run from Belton, South Carolina, to Jacksonville, including through Liberty County. - photo by Kinder Morgan map

Kinder Morgan’s Palmetto Pipeline Project has generated a great deal of controversy in a relatively short time.
It is opposed by some environmental groups and property owners in Georgia, who say it is environmentally unsound and sets a dangerous precedent given the company’s request to the Georgia Department of Transportation for the ability to use eminent domain.
It also is strongly opposed by The Colonial Group, a Savannah-based company which operates Colonial Oil and Enmark.
As all sides gear up for what could be a protracted and very public fight, the company blames part of the backlash against the Palmetto Pipeline project on its inability to get its message out to the public.

The Palmetto Pipeline extends 360 miles Belton, South Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida. It’s part of an overall plan to move refined petroleum products from the Gulf of Mexico to Belton, South Carolina, Savannah and Jacksonville. In Georgia, Liberty County is one of 12 counties which will include a portion of the pipeline, if it’s approved. The pipeline will carry a capacity of between 150,000 to 167,000 barrels of fuel per day.  If approved, construction will begin in the next spring, and the pipeline would start moving fuel in July 2017.
The pipeline would run an estimated 18 miles through Liberty County and 2 miles through Long County.

As opponents point out, Kinder Morgan will be required to show there’s a need for the pipeline for the Georgia DOT to approve the company’s bid for the right to use eminent domain.
Kinder Morgan says the pipeline will be the first to metro Savannah and the Georgia coast and will foster competition and help ensure energy independence.
Kinder Morgan claims the pipeline will employ up to 1,200 construction jobs at its peak. It’s expected to cost around $1 billion.

Environment and safety
Opponents have decried the company’s safety record and the Palmetto Pipeline’s potential impact on the region’s marshes and waterways, and a simple Internet search reveals the company has had a number of issues with its pipelines over the years.
But proponents say pipelines are the safest way to move fuel, and Kinder Morgan claims it is one of the safest operators in North America in an industry in which more than 99 percent of the fuel moved through pipelines gets safely to where it is intended to go.

Using existing right of way?
The company says it expects to “co-locate” about 83 percent of the planned pipeline on existing pipeline or other utility easements. In Georgia, that’s 86 percent.
Finally, Kinder Morgan maintains none of the petroleum products will be exported outside the United States.

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