Bullitt County residents gathered at the county’s courthouse Wednesday to voice their opposition to a natural gas pipeline proposed by LG&E for the southeast part of the county.
LG&E plans to build a 12-mile pipeline that will run from an existing LG&E natural gas transmission pipeline in eastern Bullitt County to an existing LG&E natural gas distribution line near I-65.
Kentucky’s Public Service Commission approved the project in 2017.
About a dozen people attended Wednesday’s meeting, hosted by Bullitt County Judge-Executive Jerry Summers.
Most of the residents had questions about how the project got approved and whether the county can stop it. Summers did not have answers to their questions and LG&E did not send a representative to the meeting.
LG&E spokesperson Natasha Collins said the project was designed to better serve customers in the area.
“It would enhance reliability by creating a secondary path for gas that can serve both the businesses and the residents in that area and it will also add capacity,” Collins said.
The pipeline will cut through hundreds of acres of land near Cedar Grove Road. Landowners and neighbors are primarily concerned about public safety and the pipeline’s impact on property values.
“The pipeline is going to split my farmland in half, across all four pastures,” said a landowner, Richard Parker. “Not only has our quality of life been impacted negatively, it’s also going to reduce the sale or the value of our property, of our farmland.”
Collins said LG&E had secured easements, or rights, for 85 percent of the project, or about 9 miles.
Parker is one of a handful of landowners refusing to grant LG&E an easement.
The Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is another. Bernheim acquired land in the path of the pipeline in the fall of 2018.
Director of Conservation Andrew Berry said the nature preserve legally could not grant an easement for a pipeline project on the property.
“We’re pretty firm with our stance that we’re not able to grant an easement and it’s just not compatible with our long-term goals for the Cedar Grove Wildlife Corridor,” Berry said.
Collins said LG&E is considering all of its options to secure the remaining land easements, including eminent domain.