Catholic sisters among opponents of Bluegrass Pipeline
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Blueprints for the Bluegrass Pipeline runs through Nelson County and near Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, a 300-acre campus home to more than 100 sisters.
Their names are among 5,252 signatures included in a petition against a proposed natural gas liquids pipeline that would run through Kentucky. Opponents delivered the petition to Gov. Steve Beshear's office Wednesday, urging him to add the issue to the agenda of an upcoming special legislative session.
"It's important. The issue should be taken up and there should be clarity on eminent domain," Sister Teresa Kotturan said.
Kotturan and other petitioners specifically asked for changes to state law that would give a state board the power to review any natural gas liquids pipeline and only allow the use of eminent domain for a pipeline if it's regulated as a public utility by the Public Service Commission.
However, Bluegrass Pipeline personnel said eminent domain "is an absolute last resort," according to spokesperson Tom Droege.
"Having a pipeline is going to impact the safety and water of the people," Sister Teresa Kotturan said. She and Sister Joetta Venneman worries what will happen if the proposed natural gas Bluegrass Pipeline becomes a reality.
"Knowing a pipeline is coming through, is like waiving a red flag to the creatures of the Earth. God created Earth as our land to use not abuse," Sister Venneman said.
It's a sentiment even an official spokesperson for the couldn't argue with. "I certainly appreciate their position. I'm not in their position so I can't fully understand the feelings they must have," Tom Droege said, a spokesperson for Bluegrass Pipeline.
Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP are leading the project. Company personnel said Bluegrass Pipeline will provide a safe and reliable system for delivering natural gas liquids used to create everyday household products.
Droege said the company is optimistic the pipeline will be operational by 2015.
The 1,100-mile pipeline would extend from Ohio and Kentucky to an existing line that runs to the Gulf Coast.
The pipeline would start in Bracken County and end in Breckinridge County.
"If it goes through in the general area, it's going to impact us and all the people of Kentucky," Sister Kotturan said.
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