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Upstate Forever has announced its opposition to a natural gas transmission pipeline proposed for northern Greenville County by Piedmont Natural Gas (PNG). The project, called Line 201 Extension, is an 8-inch high-pressure pipeline that would run from Taylors to Travelers Rest and would require a 50-foot-wide cleared right of way through private properties along the Enoree River and Beaverdam Creek. “We have thoroughly examined PNG’s stated reasoning for the project, and we simply find it inadequate for the size, impact and cost to ratepayers,” stated Shelley Robbins, Energy and State Policy Director.
Upstate Forever learned of the project in August and notified PNG of the likely negative impacts to an endangered plant called Bunched Arrowhead that lives only in northern Greenville County. “We also let PNG know early on that this area is not one where citizens are interested in anything that encourages sprawl,” noted Robbins. “We asked for specifics about their need assumptions, which they provided, but then we did our own research and determined that their assumptions are flawed.”
The proposed pipeline would create a 10-mile-long swath of cleared land 50 feet wide, or the approximate width of a five-5 lane road. Much of that land is currently wooded. By South Carolina law, PNG would have the right to use eminent domain to force property owners to allow the company to clear and control their land. The project also cannot feasibly serve existing homes along the route due to its high pressure.
If the pipeline is built, PNG would then likely seek cost recovery from their South Carolina ratepayers. “All PNG ratepayers could wind up paying for a project that isn’t needed, threatens water quality, and takes away private property rights. Northern Greenville County simply is not poised for the kind of growth that this pipeline is sized to serve,” stated Robbins.
For more information, contact Shelley Robbins, Energy & State Policy Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upstate Forever is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects critical lands, waters, and the unique character of the Upstate of South Carolina. We focus our work on the ten counties of Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union. Since 1998, we have worked to protect the natural assets that make the Upstate so special: our farmlands, forests, natural areas, rivers, and mountains. We are committed to ensuring that our communities are vibrant and retain their green spaces, outdoor heritage, and unique identities in the face of rapid development and significant sprawl. Upstate Forever has offices in Greenville and Spartanburg.