Group claims Kinder Morgan violated ‘Safe Drinking Water Act’ in lawsuit

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WIMBERLY, Texas (KXAN) — The legal battle over Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline is heading to federal court, according to a lawsuit from the Trinity Edwards Springs Projection Association on behalf of Blanco County landowners.

The landowners claim in the lawsuit Kinder Morgan violated the federal “Safe Drinking Water Act” — which protects underground sources of drinking water.

The lawsuit claims, as a result of serious errors in Permian Highway Pipeline construction, the landowners’ sole source of drinking water was contaminated on March 28. The group alleges, currently, the water from contaminated wells is still undrinkable.

On Monday, the Trinity Edwards Springs Projection Association showed KXAN a sample of muddy, brown water that it says was a result of the construction.

“At this point, it’s like they came onto our property and set a match to our house,” said Dr. Teri Albright, a Blanco County landowner and the plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Kinder Morgan says claims of any wrongdoing are unfounded and without merit.

In a statement to KXAN the company says “the same metals in question naturally exist in the very earth that this groundwater is flowing through, and they are naturally present there at levels that are orders of magnitude higher than the concentrations present in the drilling mud used at the Blanco River site. As with any muddy mixture of earthen material and water, we can all agree that undiluted drilling mud isn’t drinking water. Under this group’s own experiment, once the drilling mud was diluted to the total suspended solid levels detected in the Albright well on its cloudiest day, there was no exceedance of the Safe Drinking Water Act.”

Kinder Morgan says it’s been in close contact with concerned landowners to address their needs, offering food, clean water and other accommodations.

Separately, in May, the Texas Railroad Commission announced it is investigating multiple complaints related to work on the Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline.

Several Blanco County landowners filed complaints with the commission and said Kinder Morgan didn’t do enough to control erosion after severe weather in May.

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