Hays County Commissioners Court votes to join lawsuit against Permian Highway Pipeline

The Hays County Commissioners Court has voted to join a contemplated lawsuit against the Permian Highway Pipeline.

The Court voted unanimously Tuesday to join a contemplated multi-party lawsuit intended to stop Kinder Morgan from usurping property owners' rights and damaging the environment in Hays County, says a release from the Court.

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The Court says the company intends to build its Permian Highway Pipeline through environmentally sensitive areas of the county and through the properties of landowners who object to having the pipeline on their land.

"The action taken by the Court today will continue our fight on behalf of the private property rights of the citizens of Hays County," Precinct 4 Commissioner Walt Smith said in the release.

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The City of San Marcos, Travis County, the City of Austin, the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, and interested landowners have also joined the lawsuit, which names the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Kinder Morgan and its affiliates as violating the Endangered Species Act.

"Our natural resources - our aquifers, rivers, creeks, and wildlife - will be endangered by the pipeline's construction, and should a leak or explosion occur the results would be devastating," Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell said in the release.

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The Hays County General Counsel's Office will be the point of contact for the County for executing the agreement and litigation, says the Court. The plaintiffs will be represented by several law firms familiar with environmental and property rights issues.

The Commissioners Court agreed to set aside $75,000 for the lawsuit.