The Palmetto Pipeline was up for discussion on Thursday night, this time in South Carolina. Dozens came together at a meeting at the North Augusta Community Center. The controversial project would affect many land owners across the CSRA including some in North Augusta.
The meeting is supposed to paint a better picture of what this project means for those who live in Aiken County. Many state representatives are expected to attend in addition to Kinder Morgan. There are many property owners who want questions answered.
“About halfway between those two fences you see right there is where they are telling me now the pipeline is going to run,” said Ronnie Sterling.
Sterling said his piece of property in North Augusta has been in the family for almost 50 years
“I have worked all my life, I can now retire, and this is going to be done to my property,” said Sterling.
He found out about a proposed gas pipeline when Kinder Morgan sent him a letter in January. He asked a representative to come out to explain where the construction would be on his property.
“One of the first things out of his mouth was Kinder Morgan just does not like to use eminent domain and we will not be going that way Mr. Sterling, you have no worries,” said Sterling.
Sterling said he’s worried that’s not the case. He says the company’s response to the Georgia Department of Transportation’s rejection of the pipeline to continue pursuing all options to move the project forward isn’t a good sign.
“What good is my property now with a 24 inch gas line running through it,” said Sterling.
In South Carolina, a private company can use eminent domain without permission from the state, so these landowners feel like they don’t have any legislation to back them up.
“I feel like there is no support in South Carolina, none, I mean Georgia, apparently their politicians care about their voters because they are listening, in South Carolina, it doesn’t seem like it’s going that way,” said John Berret.
Berret is fighting right alongside Sterling. He has 80 acres of land at stake if the pipeline is built.
“I’m scared, I’m very scared because anybody can do it, any company can come in without a law on the books to stop it, anybody can take your land for their use at any time,” said Berret.
Both neighbors are concerned about water sources that are fed to the city and to their own homes and the environment.
“It’s not just going to be me and my neighbors feeling it, it’s going to be everyone,” said Berret.
Tune in at News Channel 6 at 11 for a full report on the meeting.