Hays CISD OKs resolution opposing Permian Highway Pipeline with safety concerns in mind

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The Hays CISD board of trustees unanimously approved a resolution at its March 25 meeting opposing construction of the Permian Highway Pipeline and calling on the Legislature to better regulate oil and gas pipeline projects. The district joins Hays County and the cities of San Marcos, Kyle, Wimberley, Woodcreek and Buda in officially stating its opposition.

“I think it’s such an important time to take a stand and unify with our county and our city with regard to opposing this pipeline,” trustee Esperanza Orosco said at the March 11 agenda meeting where the matter was first discussed.

In addition to articulating opposition, the resolution states Kinder Morgan “has not engaged Hays CISD to discuss areas of growth near schools or district facilities or engaged in conversation regarding pipeline safety concerns,” a statement confirmed by Superintendent Eric Wright on March 11. Asked by trustee Willie Tenorio if the district had heard from the company, Wright said, “Not at all.”

Kinder Morgan, the company building the pipeline, has released only an inexact map of the proposed route, but Tenorio said it appears to come near Tobias and Hemphill elementary schools as well as in the vicinity of Uhland Elementary School.

“I’m pleased to see this on the agenda,” Tenorio said. “I definitely do support passing a resolution against the pipeline.”

The resolution states that the district “opposes the PHP on behalf of the interests of the citizens of the school district and in recognition of the potential harm the PHP poses to the school district” and “calls for action at the state Legislature” to create a better regulatory process, to require environmental and economic impact studies and to increase oversight on the power of eminent domain.

“Whatever we can do, we should do,” trustee Will McManus said at the March 11 meeting.

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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 publications in New York City before she moved to Texas, and has a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Texas-Austin.
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