Kinder Morgan pushes Permian Highway Pipeline in-service date to early 2021

Materials for the Permian Highway Pipeline are stacked in Blanco County.

Materials for the Permian Highway Pipeline are stacked in Blanco County.

Citing a “slower than anticipated pace of regulatory approvals,” Kinder Morgan Inc. President Kim Dang announced the in-service date for the Permian Highway Pipeline has been pushed back from late 2020 to early 2021.

The announcement was made Oct. 16 as part of the company’s third-quarter earnings report.

Though Dang did not name any specific regulatory approvals causing delays, the 430-mile. $2 billion Permian Highway Pipeline—which is set to run through Hays County on its way from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast—is embroiled in several legal challenges over its route through the Hill Country.

Two of those challenges cite the project’s potential impact on endangered species in the region. The first, a notice of intent to sue filed in July by Hays County, Travis Audubon Society and several private plaintiffs, focuses on the pipeline’s path through golden-cheeked warbler habitat.

The second, filed just a week after the company agreed to pay the city of Kyle $2.7 million in exchange for exemption from a development ordinance, focuses on the project’s impact on aquifer-based species such as local endangered salamanders.

The pipeline also faces the appeal of a dismissed lawsuit against the Texas Railroad Commission over regulation of the use of eminent domain by private companies.

A Kinder Morgan release noted that despite the extended timeline, nearly 85% of the right of way along the Permian Highway Pipeline route has been secured, and construction has begun on the western part of the project.
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By Katharine Jose

Katharine Jose has written about politics, infrastructure, environment, development, natural disasters and other subjects for The New York Observer, Capital New York, and The New York Times, among other publications. She was an editor for several publicat


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