Austin, San Marcos, Kyle join second legal challenge to Permian Highway Pipeline over endangered species

The Barton Springs salamander is one of eight species referenced in the notice of intent to sue.

The Barton Springs salamander is one of eight species referenced in the notice of intent to sue.

The cities of Austin, Kyle and San Marcos have joined with the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District and the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association in filing a notice of intent to sue federal agencies over the anticipated impact of the Permian Highway Pipeline on several endangered species.

“Ours represents a broad, diverse coalition of landowners, cities and environmental [nongovernmental organizations],” said William Eubanks, the attorney who filed the notice of intent. “I’ve been doing this work for a long time, and it’s rare on any issue that you see this many types of entities coming together and collaborating on a singe project.”

It is the second notice of intent to sue both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service over permitting of Kinder Morgan’s $2 billion natural gas pipeline, which is set to run through the Texas Hill Country.

But while the first related primarily to the golden-cheeked warbler, the second, which is dated Oct. 16, also includes seven aquifer-based species.

Both actions attempt to push Kinder Morgan into a full and public environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act, which will only happen under a more rigorous permitting process from the Corps and USFW.

Eubanks said that right now it appears the company is only pursuing a general nationwide permit.

“Normally a project proponent like Kinder Morgan would have to go seek a permit and obtain it, and it would take time, and the public would get to be involved,” Eubanks said. “Our understanding is that none of that is happening here.”

Members of the Texas Real Estate Advocacy and Defense Coalition are funding both notices of intent; the TREAD Coalition also funded a lawsuit over the use of eminent domain by private companies that is currently on appeal.

A statement by Kinder Morgan said the company was “not commenting in length” on the legal challenge but mentioned the company’s recent unrelated settlement with the city of Kyle.

“The City of Kyle’s potential participation in this litigation was specifically contemplated in the settlement agreement,” the statement reads.

Note: This story has been updated from the original.
SHARE THIS STORY
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


MOST RECENT

In 2019, Roxanne's House served 574 victims of child abuse. (Courtesy HomeAid Austin)
Child advocacy center celebrates completion of facility renovations

The renovation included building an additional 300 square feet of office space, which will allow space for three additional staff members.

Construction for the San Marcos River Shared Use Pathway Project started on Feb. 17. (Anna Herod/Community Impact Newspaper)
New San Marcos trail project will create opportunity for nonmotorized transportation

The trail will be located around Children’s Park, Rio Vista Park and Ramon Lucio Park.

The board approved a six-proposition bond Feb. 6. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Three Hays CISD board of trustee elections in May are uncontested

Two current trustees are running for reelection.

Buda's transportation infrastructure is being updated to accommodate a growing population. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
Buda to hold open house Feb. 20 on future transportation and mobility master plan

The mobility and master plan plan will identify needs, solutions and improvements to accommodate the city’s rapid growth.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in San Antonio on Feb. 13. The case is the 15th known COVID-19, commonly referred to in recent weeks as coronavirus, infection in the United States so far. (Courtesy Adobe stock photos)
The first coronavirus case in Texas was just confirmed. Here is what Austinites need to know about the virus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in San Antonio this morning, according to a news release from the federal agency.

Hill Country Theatre joins Inspired Minds Arts Center at 121 Main St., Buda. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hill Country Theatre will begin performances in downtown Buda on Feb. 14

Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" is the first Buda play for the nonprofit.

The restaurant will be located at The Lyndon, apartment complex, 200 Springtown Way, Ste. 138, San Marcos.(Courtesy Xian Sushi and Noodle)
Xian Sushi and Noodle to open in San Marcos in early May

The Austin-base restaurant will serve home-made noodles that can be customized to any preference and sushi.

Jason Pence was fired by the city Jan. 27 following allegations that he had engaged in improper practices as construction manager. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
BREAKING NEWS: Texas Rangers find former San Marcos construction manager used city funds, labor for personal projects

The former city employee was arrested Feb. 11 on charges of theft by a public servant.

Jason Pence was arrested Feb. 11. (Courtesy Comal County)
Texas Rangers arrest recently fired San Marcos construction manager

The arrest follows a criminal investigation sparked by allegations that the employee engaged in improper purchasing practices.

(Community Impact Newspaper)
Gymnastics center set to open in Kyle expands, changes name

Instead of 3,000 square feet, Waves Gymnastics will open with 6,000 square feet of space.

(Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
Buda aims reuse of city buildings toward the arts, culture and tourism

“This town has always been an artist's town,” Inspired Minds co-owner Sinéad Whiteside said.

A public meeting for community input will be held on Feb. 19 at 6:00 p.m. at the San Marcos Activity Center. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
City of San Marcos asks for input on allocation of federal funds

In addition to a public meeting on Feb. 19, there will also be a survey available online and on paper, in both English and Spanish, through Feb. 23.

Back to top