Advocates Win Against Kinder Morgan Pipeline as HB 1036 Advances

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:  March 1, 2016

Contact:
Steve Caley, (678) 595-8828, scaley@greenlaw.org
Tonya Bonitatibus, Savannah Riverkeeper, (706) 826-8991, info@savannahriverkeeper.org

Advocates Win Against Kinder Morgan as Eminent Domain Demand Appeal Denied and Georgia HB 1036 Advances

Property Rights Advocates and Palmetto Pipeline Opponents See Two Victories in Georgia

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - Atlanta, GA - Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams ruled Tuesday morning against Kinder Morgan, the largest energy infrastructure company in North America, in their appeal case against the Georgia Department of Transportation.

In May 2015, GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry denied Kinder Morgan’s application for a Certificate of Public Convenience & Necessity, which would allow the company the right to use eminent domain to seize private property along the route of the proposed Palmetto Pipeline.

Based on the evidence presented by both Kinder Morgan, other stakeholder groups and hundreds of citizens, McMurry decided that Kinder Morgan did not meet the criteria of necessity and convenience to warrant condemning land in Georgia. Kinder Morgan asserted in its appeal that “the final decision and the GDOT’s process that led to it, failed to comply with the law.”

After months of deliberation however, Judge Adams disagreed. Tuesday’s decision spells relief for scores of Georgia landowners who were threatened with condemnation, as well as several environmental and advocacy groups who intervened

The appeal ruling comes immediately on the heels of another victory for property rights in Georgia: HB 1036, a bill which would impose a moratorium on the use of eminent domain by private petroleum companies, passed in the Georgia House and now has moved to the Senate.

Meanwhile, a similar bill in South Carolina, S.868 is scheduled to pass through Senate before the end of session. 

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GreenLaw is dedicated to preventing air and water pollution that endangers human health and degrades Georgia’s natural resources. Since 1992, GreenLaw has achieved these goals by providing free, high-quality legal and technical assistance to environmental organizations and community groups throughout Georgia. For more information, visit www.greenlaw.org and follow @GreenlawGA on Twitter.

Savannah Riverkeeper serves as the primary guardian of the Savannah River, striving to respect, protect, and improve the entire river basin through education, advocacy, and action. We are a 501 c(3) non-profit organization funded by individuals and foundations that share our commitment to creating a clean and healthy river that sustains life and is cherished by its people. For more information please visit: www.savannahriverkeeper.org