Energy News Today

Travelers Rest homeowner concerned about natural gas pipeline

A natural gas pipeline project could be coming to northern Greenville County, but some neighbors are concerned about what this could mean for their property values and for the environment. Brooks Smith and her husband built their dream home on this land in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, back in February. They want to start a small, organic farm. But a few weeks ago, they got a letter in the mail from Piedmont Natural Gas, saying the company needs to survey their property for a new natural gas pipeline. “We want to know what the particular rationale is for this project,” said Smith said to WYFF4, after speaking with the Greenville County Council Wednesday night via Zoom during a Community Comment meeting, “Is it a demonstrated public need? Or is it a profit making venture on the backs of the landowners?”WYFF4’s Renee Wunderlich reached out to Duke Energy – Piedmont Natural Gas is part of the company – to learn more about the project. PNG said they already own easements, or the rights to use the property owned by the residents. Duke Energy corporate communications spokesperson Jennifer Sharpe said the project is in its very early stages; Line 201, as it’s called currently, doesn’t have a decided route yet. Sharpe said construction on the project itself is at least a year out.“It (the pipeline) would be a capital project. It would be an investment in our infrastructure,” said Sharpe, “In other words, we don’t currently have the capacity deserve the growth that’s coming out to that area.”Growth meaning future developments, like homes and businesses.”One thing I have been hearing about the Northern Greenville County community forever is that they don’t want a lot of development. They do not want to be subdivision land,” said Shelley Robbins, energy and state policy director with the conservation nonprofit Upstate Forever, “that is not what the people who live there want. And I remind people that natural gas is not a need for housing – it’s a want. Electricity is a need, water is a need, sewer or septic is a need, but natural gas is a want… I have difficulty saying this project is necessary.”To be clear, the conservation group Upstate Forever has *not taken an official stance on whether or not they support the pipeline project.Shelley Robbins said PNG has been a good community partner – a few months ago, the company rerouted the proposal around endangered bunch arrowhead plants in the area.Upstate Forever is still reviewing the project before they take a stance.But neighbors like Brooks Smith say they aren’t interested. “It’s not fair to ask us to do this to our land, and potentially you know really take some of the beauty and the peacefulness,” said Smith. “Knowing it’s there – it’s disturbing.” And it’s not clear if neighbors currently living in the area being surveyed would be able to tap into the pipeline for natural gas. Smith believes, due to the nature of the project, her household would not be able to access the natural gas as a utility should they choose to be a customer. Sharpe was not able to speak specifically to Line 201, but tells Renee Wunderlich WYFF4 that, barring any special circumstances for this pipeline, residents can call to request to be a customer. Sharpe said if enough people in a neighborhood would want to be customers, there is a process for the company to build a case for them. Smith told WYFF4 and Greenville County Council she and her neighbors would like a public hearing with Piedmont Natural Gas once it’s safe to do so, and before any construction would start, so the community could ask questions and weigh in. PNG told WYFF4’s Renee Wunderlich they’d be open to it, but the company typically prefers to work one-on-one with landowners.

A natural gas pipeline project could be coming to northern Greenville County, but some neighbors are concerned about what this could mean for their property values and for the environment.

Brooks Smith and her husband built their dream home on this land in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, back in February.

They want to start a small, organic farm. But a few weeks ago, they got a letter in the mail from Piedmont Natural Gas, saying the company needs to survey their property for a new natural gas pipeline.

“We want to know what the particular rationale is for this project,” said Smith said to WYFF4, after speaking with the Greenville County Council Wednesday night via Zoom during a Community Comment meeting, “Is it a demonstrated public need? Or is it a profit making venture on the backs of the landowners?”

WYFF4’s Renee Wunderlich reached out to Duke Energy – Piedmont Natural Gas is part of the company – to learn more about the project.

PNG said they already own easements, or the rights to use the property owned by the residents.

Duke Energy corporate communications spokesperson Jennifer Sharpe said the project is in its very early stages; Line 201, as it’s called currently, doesn’t have a decided route yet. Sharpe said construction on the project itself is at least a year out.

“It (the pipeline) would be a capital project. It would be an investment in our infrastructure,” said Sharpe, “In other words, we don’t currently have the capacity deserve the growth that’s coming out to that area.”

Growth meaning future developments, like homes and businesses.

“One thing I have been hearing about the Northern Greenville County community forever is that they don’t want a lot of development. They do not want to be subdivision land,” said Shelley Robbins, energy and state policy director with the conservation nonprofit Upstate Forever, “that is not what the people who live there want. And I remind people that natural gas is not a need for housing – it’s a want. Electricity is a need, water is a need, sewer or septic is a need, but natural gas is a want… I have difficulty saying this project is necessary.”

To be clear, the conservation group Upstate Forever has *not taken an official stance on whether or not they support the pipeline project.

Shelley Robbins said PNG has been a good community partner – a few months ago, the company rerouted the proposal around endangered bunch arrowhead plants in the area.

Upstate Forever is still reviewing the project before they take a stance.

But neighbors like Brooks Smith say they aren’t interested.

“It’s not fair to ask us to do this to our land, and potentially you know really take some of the beauty and the peacefulness,” said Smith. “Knowing it’s there – it’s disturbing.”

And it’s not clear if neighbors currently living in the area being surveyed would be able to tap into the pipeline for natural gas.

Smith believes, due to the nature of the project, her household would not be able to access the natural gas as a utility should they choose to be a customer.

Sharpe was not able to speak specifically to Line 201, but tells Renee Wunderlich WYFF4 that, barring any special circumstances for this pipeline, residents can call to request to be a customer. Sharpe said if enough people in a neighborhood would want to be customers, there is a process for the company to build a case for them.

Smith told WYFF4 and Greenville County Council she and her neighbors would like a public hearing with Piedmont Natural Gas once it’s safe to do so, and before any construction would start, so the community could ask questions and weigh in.

PNG told WYFF4’s Renee Wunderlich they’d be open to it, but the company typically prefers to work one-on-one with landowners.

                                </div>

Read More: Travelers Rest homeowner concerned about natural gas pipeline

2020-10-14 22:14:00

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy
%d bloggers like this: