Protect Your Family, Community, Farms, Water Supply, and Home & Land Values
What To Do:
- You are not alone! We are your neighbors, friends, family, co-workers, and concerned Kentuckians allied together to stop the abuse of eminent domain laws in our state. Do not feel as if you have no way to defend yourself. We will help. We will have a better chance of defending ourselves if we work together. Use our contact form and let us know if you are threatened with condemnation or if the company takes action against you!
- Be Proactive - Even if you have not been approached by the Williams Company, your neighbors may have been contacted. They may not tell you they plan to bring the pipeline near your home. Talk with your neighbors and county officials and state representatives. Share this website with them. Let them know you are opposed to this pipeline and why.
- Do Not Agree to a Survey - Williams Company may not have eminent domain rights under Kentucky law - despite what they tell you. To obtain the right, the company will need to take the matter to court. Company reps may tell you that a survey does not obligate you in any way. However, allowing a survey may give them more evidence to use in court against you if they try to obtain eminent domain rights in Kentucky.
- If You Have Already Agreed to / or Have Had a Survey - Notify the company in writing that you are rescinding your permission for the survey. Also notify them that they are not to come onto your property for any reason. Keep a record of this. Email is a good way to do this. Keep your original email as well as the response you receive.
- Communicate in Writing with the Company Whenever Possible - Keep their Written Responses.
- Have a witness with you when you meet with them. Write down the dates, times, and names of representatives, and what they tell or promise you. Keep this information should you need it in the future. Similarly, keep a note pad and pen by your phone. Write down the details of phone conversations. Take photographs of any damage done to your land during surveys. If your land was surveyed without your permission, take photos of the survey markers. File a complaint with your county attorney and the Kentucky Attorney General's Division of Consumer Protection. Keep copies of any written documents provided to you by the company.
- Demand Public Forums in Your County - Write a letter to the editor of your local paper and ask the judge executive for a public hearing. It is critical that all citizens are aware of the potential risks vs minimal benefits of the pipeline. This can only happen if the company is forced to address citizens' concerns in public. Historically, they company has avoided this by approaching county officials and landowners privately. This must stop so that citizens can make decisions after hearing the pros and cons from sources other than the company itself.
- Contact your area representatives as well as the offices of political parties in your area and at the state level.
- Contact This Website - Use the contact form on the side of this webpage to contact our citizens group. We are working to link citizens with resources in their areas to help. While you can most certainly contact an attorney on your own, we advise that you use only someone you can get local references for and who knows Kentucky law. There are attorney websites for out-of-state firms that are suggesting that your only option is to negotiate with the company, and that is not entirely accurate. If we work together from within our state, we have a better chance of winning. If you are aware of people who have been approached, please let us know how to contact them. We will protect your information resources and will not reveal your name in any of our publications or when we contact anyone you refer to us unless you specifically tell us it is okay to do so!
- Sign Our Petition - Sign our petition so that we can show government officials that many tax-paying, voting citizens oppose this pipeline. http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/governor-beshear-stop
Know the Facts:
- This is not a utility or a public service line. It is to transport up to 400,000 barrels of fracked natural gas liquids from Pennsylvania to Louisiana. Most likely a large portion of it will be exported for foreign interests.
- This is not natural gas. The pipeline will carry mixed natural gas liquids. They are not the same. Do not allow the company's public relations material and statements to sway your understanding of this.
- The state and counties may receive some ad valorem tax from the value of the pipeline itself and not the value of the products being pumped through it.
- Most jobs generated by this pipeline would be temporary construction jobs, and there is no guarantee they will employ local people for this purpose.
- The pipeline will generate billions of dollars for the Williams Company and its stockholders.
- Do Kentuckians really want to support this corporate welfare by giving away their property rights for a one-time pittance, given the risks?
- There has been no public commitment to the creation of long term jobs in the US. China, however, has invested heavily in pipeline construction in the US and will likely be getting the jobs created by the exploitation of the United States' natural gas liquids resources.
- Landowners are being offered as little as a one-time payment $10.00 - $24.00 per linear foot of pipeline across the land. The company will clear up to 100 feet of land for every linear foot of line. The final easement will be 50 feet wide. Property owners can never build on the easement and would be wise not to build anywhere near it. Property owners will have to continue to pay any loans and taxes on their land, despite the inability to build on it. Landowners may be unable to subdivide land because of easements. Property insurance may increase. Property values may go down.
- Although an average of 1.6 gas line leaks and ruptures occur daily in the US, many lesser incidents may not be reported because the industry is not required to report them. The chances of a leak in any given location varies by many factors. Kentucky is especially at-risk for leaks because of its geography. When leaks do occur, they may go undetected underground and may contaminate ground water sources for the public. There is no way to decontaminate this water for human or animal consumption, or use on crops. Oh, and by the way, the government relies on the companies themselves to report leaks.
- When leaks and ruptures occur, the impact can be catastrophic. Loss of life, property, livestock, and contamination of soil and ground water have occurred.
- There has been no discussion on who will pay for the equipment and ongoing training our firefighters will need to protect themselves and the public. There are no laws in place in Kentucky that require Natural Gas Liquid producers to disclose the chemicals and products that they will be sending through their lines. The public and first responders need to know this!
- The company has made no public statement on how they would support the public by funding cleanup efforts and restoration in the event of a spill.
- The Williams Company's safety record is questionable based on recent explosions at their facilities in West Virginia and Louisiana as well as a lengthy history of fines and violations. Their safety advice on their website states that in the event of a leak, it is possible that the only clue may be frozen ground (which you probably won't see in the winter, at night, or when you leave your home early in the morning to go to work), a cloud of fog-like mist near the leak (which you may mistake for fog) may (or may not) appear. This cloud would become a colorless and odorless mass of vapor as the gas spreads (How can one see a colorless cloud or smell an odorless gas?). The company advises you not to use any source of ignition (which would likely include appliances with pilot lights, cooking activities, starting a car, and using a cell phone or other electric appliances). They say to leave the area on foot and seek higher ground. This assumes, of course, that you are physically able to do so, are not overcome by fumes, and that you have higher ground to go to. The gasses in these lines can lead to brain damage, cardiac problems, asthma attacks, and death by asphyxiation.
- The gas industry does not appear to have any reliable means of predicting how far or how fast a released gas cloud will spread.
- Unfortunately, the impact of underground releases may not be immediately known. You may not know your ground water or well water is contaminated until you become ill and/or your livestock become ill or die.
- Because the pipeline is proposed to go under the Ohio and Kentucky Rivers, sources of water for millions of people, there is a possibility of contamination of public water supplies as well.
As we meet and talk with Kentuckians across the state, we are concerned about the stories they have shared on their encounters with the Williams Company and county and state officials. This page exists to give you a safe public-forum to report what is happening to you.
If you have a story to share, please write to us via the Contact box on this page. We will share it here (with your permission, and personal information removed of course). If your rights may have been violated, we can get help for you through the resources of our group. Check out these stories below, and don't forget to share your own:
Note: All names (and possibly genders) of the individuals below have been changed. The stories, however, are actual reports we have received.
Andrew's Story - "At the fiscal court meeting on July 12th I asked a question about how the proposed gas fluid pipeline would cross the two forks of the Elkhorn on the way from Scott County to Woodford County. The reason I asked the question is because many years ago my husband, children and I took a very long canoe trip down the South branch from our property in Scott County to the Twin Creeks Country Club. It was a fun but difficult trip. At one point we needed to portage around a dam (not a surprise) but we also experienced something we did not expect. The creek had flooded several months before (but was no longer flooded) and at one place the creek had changed it's course and the rushing stream took our canoe down a different path than had been there before. We were carried through a place that had originally not been part of the regular flow of water and were forced by the water through an area that had originally been land, covered with small trees and shrubs. Many of the limbs had been broken in the area through which we were forced. We made it without serious injury but it was, obviously, an experience I and my family will never forget.
My point is that the creek bed is not something that always remains the same. There is danger that a storm here will produce enough rain that the normal flow of the creek may change again. And if that happens in the wrong place, may cause rupture of the pipeline, causing horrible damage to the immediate surroundings as well as the land and water down-stream. Scott County may benefit from taxes that may be collected from the Williams Co for the pipeline but I understand the amount we may receive is negligible and in my opinion will probably be offset from the decrease in property taxes we pay as the value of our property goes down."
Lisa's Story - "The first I heard about this pipeline was when I got a phone call one night. A representative saying he was from the Bluegrass Pipeline said he was in my neighborhood looking at my neighbor's property. He wanted to come over right then and "take a walk across my land to see if it was feasible to put the pipeline there." I put him off because I wanted some time to find out if it was a legitimate thing. After all, I always thought that government officials would be involved in something like this. I expected some kind of official notice and not some fly-by-night person I had never heard of calling at night."
Robert's Story - "I denied permission for a survey, but the people kept harassing me. Then, the [expletive removed] sent me a letter thanking me for agreeing to allow them to survey. My attorney told me to send them a certified letter denying that I ever gave permission, and it was returned to me unopened!"
Susan's Story - "They told me they had eminent domain and that I could not deny them permission to survey."
Jason's Story - "My county official told me that if I didn't sign permission to survey, they [the Williams Company] would take my land anyway. If I signed, I would at least have some say where the line would go."
Aaron's Story - "I've had to run them off twice. I feel like they are harassing me."