Palmetto Pipeline Project

STATEMENT OF ISSUE:  Kinder Morgan has proposed a 360 mile liquids (gas, diesel, and ethanol) pipeline that would originate in Belton, South Carolina, extend southeast through Georgia and terminate in Jacksonville, Florida.  Southern Environmental Law Center, as well as local River Keepers, have expressed concerns over the proposed pipeline in media outlets.  According to the agent, approximately 80% of the pipeline would be co-located on existing easements and approximately 312 crossings of waters of the U.S. are proposed.  No Department of the Army permit application has been submitted at this time.  

BACKGROUND:  On February 19, 2015, a pre-application conference call was held which included representatives from Kinder Morgan (applicant), AECOM (agent), Jacksonville District, Savannah District, and Charleston District, to discuss potential environmental impacts (i.e. wetland/stream impacts, endangered species, historic/cultural resources, etc.) associated with the pipeline.  The Corps requested the applicant/agent provide a defined project corridor in order for the Corps to determine the Federal scope of the project.  The Corps also informed the agent and applicant that without the defined corridor or a more detailed map, we would not be able to identify potential environmental issues.  It was determined that the Savannah District would be the lead district for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Magnuson Stevens Act, and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).      

On March 15, 2015, a conference call was held with representatives from Kinder Morgan, AECOM, Savannah District, Charleston District, and Jacksonville District.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the level effort/scope for identification of historic properties/ cultural resources for the purpose of compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA.  It was determined that a phased approach would be utilized during the surveying of the corridor, beginning with archival/documentary research, then reconnaissance surveys, followed by intensive surveys of some portions of the corridor.  A research design/scope of work would be prepared first and reviewed by the three districts and State Historic Preservation Officers. AECOM stated that 7 miles of the pipeline has been rerouted to avoid the Briar Creek site (an American Revolution battlefield) in Screven County, Georgia.  Savannah District staff cautioned AECOM that the limits of the site have not been defined; therefore the proposed reroute may not have avoided the entire site.
CURRENT STATUS:  Currently, the Savannah District is awaiting the submittal of an application for the proposed project.  According to AECOM, a pre-construction notification for the proposed project will be submitted in February 2016.  To date, Kinder Morgan has not provided a defined corridor.

DISTRICT POCs:  Sarah Wise, Coastal Branch, Regulatory Division, (912) 652-5550