Kinder Morgan MOU hits snag
Caldwell County Commissioners at their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday declined to approve a memorandum of understanding between the county and developer Kinder Morgan in relation to the Permian Highway Pipeline.
The memorandum of understanding outlines specific considerations laid out by county officials aimed at easing the impact and installation of the pipeline, such as providing traffic control near jobsites and keeping adjacent roadways free from debris, trash and mud.
Precinct 1 Commissioner B.J. Westmoreland said he would like to see how current negotiations between affected landowners and Kinder Morgan play out before he committed to the document.
In Sept. 2018, Kinder Morgan representatives began to reach out to property owners whose land runs through the projected path of the pipeline to conduct civil and environmental surveys, as well as begin negotiations for easements on which to place the pipelines.
According to Kinder Morgan public affairs official Allen Fore, negotiations with affected landowners are still underway.
“We understand the unique significance of this project to this area,” said Fore, noting the developer still doesn’t have a hard date to reach the end of negotiations. “We’re in active discussions with all landowners.”
The Permian Highway Pipeline gained state and national media attention in July after a Texas district court judge threw out a lawsuit filed by Hays County, the City of Kyle and some individual landowners against Kinder Morgan that argued the project would endanger waterways and residential areas.
Caldwell County representatives decided not to join that lawsuit, instead opting to engage in negotiations with Kinder Morgan that County Judge Hoppy Haden said are making progress.
“We’ve stayed out of the legal actions some of these counties have taken,” Haden said. “Part of that is because of the open dialogue we’ve had [with Kinder Morgan].”
Commissioners ultimately tabled any vote on the memorandum of understanding, opting to wait until negotiations were further along to commit to the document.