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Brewster County asks FERC for pipeline oversight

June 25th, 2015 under Top Stories
(staff photo by SASHA von OLDERSHAUSEN) The Trans Pecos Pipeline pipe just keeps coming, as a yard north of Interstate 10 in Fort Stockton reveals. This pipe is in addition to pipe being staged at the Texas-Pacifico Railroad Belding siding west of town.

(staff photo by SASHA von OLDERSHAUSEN)
The Trans Pecos Pipeline pipe just keeps coming, as a yard north of Interstate 10 in Fort Stockton reveals. This pipe is in addition to pipe being staged at the Texas-Pacifico Railroad Belding siding west of town.

ALPINE – The Brewster County Commissioner’s Court adopted a resolution to file a comment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting that the federal agency regulate the entire 143-mile length of the Trans Pecos Pipeline.

The pipeline is classified as an “intrastate” pipeline, which means that – with the exception of the 1,000-foot piece of pipe that will cross the border and is thereby subject to federal authority – the Trans Pecos Pipeline falls under the jurisdiction of the Texas Railroad Commission.

However, the state authority has denied any responsibility for regulating the siting and construction of the proposed pipeline.

At the Tuesday meeting, Commissioner Luc Novovitch stated, “Whether you are for or against the pipeline you need to vote in favor of this resolution because it benefits everyone – it is in the interest of the safety of our region’s people and the environment.”

Judge Eleazar Cano stated, “The resolution is the least we can do. We are just asking FERC to do its job.” Cano also iterated that he intends to contact Pecos County Judge Joe Shuster and Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara to arrange a meeting. “There is strength in numbers,” said Cano.

Last week, the Alpine City Council adopted a resolution opposing the presidential permit needed by Energy Transfer Partners – one of several firms building the underground natural gas transmission line – to link up with a Mexican transmission line at the Rio Grande just west of the city of Presidio.

The resolution, which was filed by Commissioner Hugh Garrett and Novovitch stated, “…Whereas, the Railroad Commission of the State of Texas denies responsibility for regulating the siting and construction of the proposed pipeline and has indicated no state agency has that authority; Whereas, the proposed pipeline passes through 33 miles of Brewster County and in close proximity to Alpine, Texas; Whereas, the Brewster County Commissioners Court has concerns regarding lack of oversight for the proposed pipeline by the State of Texas; Therefore, the Brewster County Commissioners Court petitions the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to intervene and assume jurisdiction for the proposed pipeline through Brewster County to ensure said pipeline is subject to federal statutes, rules, regulations, and procedures.”

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