Washington County residents speak out against Bluegrass Pipeline at meeting

SPRINGFIELD, Ky. (WKYT) - A crowd gathered Thursday night at St. Rose Parish School to discuss the plans an Oklahoma based company has to build a pipeline through Kentucky. That pipeline would carry natural gas liquids from Pennsylvania to Louisiana for processing.

All of the scheduled speakers expressed concern about the plan.

"The Williams Company wants to build The Bluegrass Pipeline to pump these toxic, highly flammable, potentially explosive natural gas liquids instead of trucking them," said Joyce Hamilton, who lives in Washington County.

Protesters have been fighting the construction since the plan was announced in March. On August 7 hundreds of people gathered for a rally at the state capital. Activists gathered more than 5,000 signatures which they delivered to Governor Steve Beshear's office. They asked him to put the issue on the then upcoming special legislative session. Within minutes Beshear issued a release saying the issue would not be on the agenda for the session, but he did say his administration was closely monitoring the project.

That same night the company behind the pipeline held a meeting in downtown Frankfort. No company representatives were at Thursday's meeting.

Bluegrass Pipeline representatives have said the pipeline is safe, and would be monitored 24 hours a day.

One of the biggest concerns expressed was the possibility of eminent domain being used to take land for the pipeline. One of the speakers said that shouldn't happen.

"Eminent domain under Kentucky law is limited to companies that are 'in public service,' meaning serving Kentucky customers," said attorney Tom Fitzgerald with the Kentucky Resource Council.

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