Judge rules against landowners fighting Permian Highway pipeline near Austin

A federal judge in Austin has ruled against landowners and residents who want to stop Kinder Morgan’s $2 billion Permian Highway Pipeline which would carry gas from the Permian to near Houston.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman struck down a request on Friday by opponents of the $2 billion project according to the Houston Chronicle. They had sought a temporary restraining order halting construction of the pipeline through Texas Hill Country and over the Edwards Aquifer, an underground reservoir home to several threatened and endangered species of salamander, fish and insects.

“Plaintiffs have failed to show that the potential harm has risen to the level of irreparable harm that would justify granting the extraordinary relief of a temporary restraining order,” Pitman wrote in an eight-page order.

Kinder Morgan is not out of the woods yet. The temporary restraining order was only part of an endangered species lawsuit filed Feb. 5 against Kinder Morgan by the cities of Austin and San Marcos, Hays and Travis counties, the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District and four landowners. The company, its subcontractors and the project face a separate federal lawsuit filed by five Hill Country landowners.

In a statement, Kinder Morgan said the company and the Permian Highway Pipeline project are in full compliance with the Endangered Species Act.

“Permian Highway Pipeline’s environmental assessments, among other things, comprehensively considered those endangered species that could potentially be affected by the project, and our construction plans have been designed to minimize impacts to those species,” the company said.

Source: Houston Chronicle