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October 22nd, 2021
Upstate Forever opposes the natural gas pipeline proposed again by Piedmont Natural Gas (PNG) that would run from Taylors to Travelers Rest in Northern Greenville County.
After PNG’s proposal for an 8-inch high pressure transmission pipeline failed in 2020, PNG released plans in August 2021 to build a 12-inch distribution line that would run from Taylors to Travelers Rest. The three proposed pipeline routes are shown in the adjacent map.
The pipeline is not desired or even necessary.
The construction of this gas pipeline proposed by PNG would direct growth to rural areas, where residents have repeatedly expressed they do not want development, and in a way that is inconsistent with the Greenville County Comprehensive Plan. It would slash across some of the most beautiful parts of the region — pastures, streams, hillsides, and farms and hundreds of families’ properties.
What’s more, PNG has not released documentation illustrating the need for natural gas infrastructure in this rural region. Residents should not be forced to bear the financial and environmental costs of yet another pipeline for a need that has not been demonstrated.
It infringes on private property rights.
The proposed pipeline would create a miles-long swath of cleared land 50-75 feet wide, about the width of a five-lane road. Much of the land along the proposed routes is currently wooded, and much of it is privately owned. PNG plans to use eminent domain to acquire land or right of way from those who are unwilling to sell and force property owners to allow the company to clear and control their land.
It could harm our region’s water quality.
Pipeline construction can result in significant land disturbance, and this is especially harmful when waters are crossed by or are adjacent to pipeline construction. The proposed pipeline traverses an area known for steep slopes and flashy creeks and rivers that overflow their banks easily in the Upstate’s unpredictable and frequently intense rains. Some Upstate communities have already borne the brunt of pipeline construction projects failing to implement basic water protections. In one case, uncontrolled sediment released into a nearby drinking water source, temporarily shutting down access.
It threatens one of the world’s rarest plant species.
Bunched arrowhead is an extremely rare plant, existing only in Greenville County and in Henderson County, NC. Two populations of Bunched Arrowhead have been found along PNG’s proposed “green line.”
The sensitivity of this the federally-endangered plant and its critical habitat — the Piedmont Seepage Forest — cannot be overstated. Populations of this plant have been wiped out from the impacts of construction runoff and disruptions to the steady flow of groundwater that is needed to keep this habitat functioning. The construction of this pipeline could put the very future of bunched arrowhead at risk.