NEW YORK — The proposed Byhalia Pipeline fight in Memphis was featured Thursday on CBS This Morning, where opponents called the project environmental racism.
Nearby landowners and activists appeared on the program talking about the impact to properties from the crude oil pipeline and its potential impact on the city’s aquifer.
The company behind the controversial Byhalia Pipeline responded to that criticism, saying they’ve chosen the path with the least amount of impact on Memphis residents. They also noted that the vast majority of homeowners living on land slated to be used for the project have agreed to allow the work to happen.
As proposed, the Byhalia Pipeline will run 49 miles through parts of Memphis, and Desoto and Marshall counties in Mississippi, connecting two existing crude oil pipelines. Groups in Memphis have taken issue with the project saying it primarily impacts Black neighborhoods like Boxtown and runs over the Memphis water supply.
To date, several celebrities have joined the cause, including former Vice Presiden Al Gore.
On Thursday, Katie Martin with Plains All American said that they have listened to members of the community and have spoken with researchers on how they can install the pipeline in a responsible way and meet the nation’s energy needs.
The route was drawn so it would impact the least amount of people -often taking advantage of vacant lots. They purposefully avoided landmarks and densely populated areas, she said. Those homeowners who will be impacted have been offered a fair market value for access to the land, and to date, 97 percent have accepted their proposal.
Martin said the company did not draw the line to specifically target one group or another.
As for the pipeline, Martin said they have done environmental studies showing the pipeline will not harm the drinking water.