AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin City Council unanimously passed a resolution on Wednesday opposing a natural gas pipeline that’s set to run through the Hill Country.
The 430-mile Permian Highway Pipeline would run from West Texas to Katy near Houston, crossing over the Trinity and Edwards aquifers.
It has faced opposition from landowners and is the subject of a lawsuit involving the City of Kyle and Hays County, as well as Texas Real Estate Advocacy and Defense (TREAD). A Travis County judge is expected to rule on the case this month.
Austin Council Member Leslie Pool sponsored the resolution.
“I am especially concerned about the pipeline’s undeniable threat to the Trinity and Edwards aquifers and all of our natural resources,” said Pool.
The Edwards Aquifer feeds Barton Springs Pool and serves as a drinking water source for around 2 million people.
The resolution asks city environmental staff to study the potential water quality impacts a pipeline would have.
Kinder Morgan tells KVUE it's held hundreds of conferences with landowners and already adjusted the pipeline about 150 times thanks to landowner concerns.
“We treat all landowners fairly - not by their net worth, not by how big their ranch is,” said Allen Fore, vice president of public affairs for Kinder Morgan.
The company said the pipeline is crucial to Texas money and this litigation targets that.
“It's an industry that drives the Texas economy,” said Fore.
The company's lawyers said the pipeline would be able to safely move natural gas through the area. Right now, it's set to go through Hays, Gillespie, Blanco, and Caldwell Counties.
The lawsuit asks that condemnation of land for the pipeline stop until the Texas Railroad Commission, the lawsuit alleges, properly oversees pipelines.
The commission regulates production and transportation of oil and natural gas.
“The process in use now for choosing a route for the Kinder Morgan Permian Highway Pipeline is not balanced,” said David Braun, legal counsel for the TREAD Coalition. “The process needs to be improved."
Kinder Morgan said it plans to start construction on the pipeline in the fall and finish construction next year.
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