San Marcos - Buda - Kyle Edition | March 2020

FUNDING THE LAWSUIT THE LAWSUI The six agencies that have signed onto the lawsuit are giving a total of $260,000 to the eort. SOURCES: CITY OF AUSTIN, BARTON SPRINGS EDWARDS AQUIFER CONSERVATION DISTRICT, HAYS COUNTY, CITY OF KYLE, CITY OF SAN MARCOS, TRAVIS COUNTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

$5K Kyle

Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District

$5K

$25K San Marcos

$260,000 TOTAL:

$100K Austin

Travis County

$50K

Hays County

$75K

ENVIRONMENT Opponents le endangered species lawsuit to stopPermian pipeline Construction has started on the western end of the Permian Highway Pipeline. (Courtesy Kinder Morgan)

BY KATHARINE JOSE

in Austin at a date yet to be set. Construction has already started on the western end of the pipeline, which runs between the Permian Basin and the Gulf Coast, but has been held up by permit delays in Central Texas. The city of Austin has earmarked $100,000; Hays County has dedi- cated $75,000; Travis County voted on $50,000; the city of San Marcos allocated up to $25,000; and the city of Kyle and the BSEACD approved $5,000. Allen Fore, Kinder Morgan vice president of public aairs, said the company is not concerned. “We have been and are in com- pliance with all of the rules and regulation applicable to our project,” Fore said. “We are condent we are in compliance with the particulars involving endangered species.”

Texas and that the company has not sought the appropriate permits from the federal government that would allow it to do so without violating the Endangered Species Act. Those permits come from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which are named as defendants in the complaint along with Kinder Morgan in part because, according to the text of the suit, the two agencies have recently created a new permitting process that was adopted in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. No permits have yet been issued, but as Community Impact Newspaper previously reported, Kinder Morgan has already mobilized and is ready to begin construction. The anticipated endangered species lawsuit was at one point not going to be led until after the permits that

it challenges were issued. According to the text of the suit, plaintis are concerned that if they wait to sue, by the time the case goes to court Kinder Morgan may have completed enough construction that issuing an injunc- tion would not be meaningful. The suit reads, “While no permits have been granted nor any other purported authorization issued, on information and belief Plaintis expect that ... Kinder Morgan will immediately begin destroying and damaging federally listed species and their habitats before Plaintis and the Court have the opportunity to review or address the legality of their activities.” The suit asks for an injunction, but on Feb. 14 a federal judge declined to issue a temporary restraining order to stop construction. A hearing on a preliminary injunction will take place

A lawsuit challenging the Permian Highway Pipeline and asking for an injunction to stop its impending construction was led Feb. 5 in U.S. District Court in Austin. Plaintis listed in the suit include the cities of Austin and San Marcos, Hays and Travis counties, the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conserva- tion District and several landowners. The city of Kyle is not listed as a plainti, but the suit will be amended to include it, according to Jessica Karlsruher, executive director of the Texas Real Estate Advocacy and Defense Coalition, which is partially funding suit. The plaintis are charging, accord- ing to a copy of the suit, that Kinder Morgan will damage endangered spe- cies habitats when it builds a 430-mile natural gas pipeline through Central

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SAN MARCOS  BUDA  KYLE EDITION • MARCH 2020

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