A Kinder Morgan Pipeline Expansion in taking place in Lavaca County. This is part of the Permian Highway Pipeline or PHP project. In the video, Condemnation Rights Attorney Philip Hundl describes the project and talks about what affected landowners should do when contacted by a right of way agent. Call or text 800-266-4870 for an appointment with Mr. Hundl. You can also click this link for a no-obligation case evaluation.
Summary of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline Expansion in Lavaca County
Hi, I’m Philip Hundl. I’d like to talk to you about a new project that’s come to my attention. It’s a Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in Lavaca County, Texas. I am an attorney in Texas. My practice area focuses on representing landowners facing eminent domain and condemnation proceedings.
Many of you may remember the big Kinder Morgan Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) Project that was completed several years ago. It started way out in West Texas like most of these projects do and it took a diagonal path to the coast to the Fort Bend County and Wharton County areas. That project passed through the middle of the Hill Country in between Austin and San Antonio through Caldwell County, Blanco County, Gillespie County, and Hays County.
The Kinder Morgan PHP project was unlike other pipelines that took a more northernly route over Austin through Williamson County and then diagonally down. So the Permian Highway Pipeline project created a lot of controversy and rightly so. What I want to talk about today is the Kinder Morgan Permian Highway Pipeline Expansion project in Lavaca County.
It’s nothing like the original PHP project. This expansion project is 15 miles of what Kinder Morgan calls additional looping. Five miles of the expansion project will be located in Reeves County and Pecos County, and 10 miles will be located in Lavaca County.
The Expansion Project Adds a Second Pipe
I primarily want to focus on Lavaca County. I’m closer to Lavaca County, and I have quite a few clients in Lavaca County who are affected by this expansion project and were affected by the PHP original pipeline project. This expansion will be a second pipe parallel to an existing 10 mile stretch in Lavaca County. There’s a longer stretch of PHP line in Lavaca County, but this stretch affected by the PHP expansion is only 10 miles long.
What are the timeframes? It’s always important to know. When do they anticipate construction? How long will it take? When will it be in service? I think a lot of times these goals by pipeline companies are optimistic. However, they’re saying the fourth quarter of 2022 is when they would anticipate starting some construction.
Now, does that mean out in Reeves County, Pecos County, or in Lavaca County? I don’t know that yet. The proposed in-service date would be the fourth quarter of 2023. So essentially they’re saying it’s going to take about a year to do this construction. I think that’s probably a reasonable estimate given the variables in construction of a pipeline.
What’s the Justification for the PHP Expansion Project?
What’s the reason for the project? They’re saying this project will increase the Permian Highway Pipeline’s capacity by approximately 550 million cubic feet per day. I’m going to attach this fact sheet of this expansion project. It comes from Kinder Morgan.
I’ll also attach the route of the PHP line with the expansion portions on the map. It’s a yellow and black alternating colored line. That’s the second line that’s going to be on this project.
For Lavaca County, the Kinder Morgan Pipeline Expansion starts in the little town of Praha. Many of you have probably heard of that. There’s a painted church — the Catholic church there. But the pipeline expansion runs from Praha, at an angle near Moravia, and then past Highway 77. It ends a little bit further east of Highway 77 in Lavaca County.
What Should You Do as a Landowner?
So hopefully that’s helpful. With all these pipeline projects, if you’re approached by a right of way agent get as much information as you can from the beginning. A lot of the information will change. But the proposed location of the pipeline on your land is extremely important.
You should also ask about any above ground appurtenances that the pipeline company anticipates having on your property. Ask if they are going to need a temporary access road or permanent access road. Those are all things that are extremely important to ask the right of way agent.
In trying to find out that information, get as many plats or diagrams of the proposed route as possible. If you can get a diagram of the route on your property with an aerial overlay on it, that’s also very helpful. Sometimes it may be difficult to determine exactly where the pipeline will be located if you’re working from a civil engineering or survey plat. You can also also ask for the pipeline company to stake the line. Staking the line at this stage might be a little premature, but that definitely helps you visualize where that route will be on your property.
Hopefully that’s helpful information. As always, please, please contact an attorney who handles eminent domain and condemnation proceedings for landowners. Talk to someone who can inform you of your rights and the obligations of the condemnor.
Get the Help You Need to Protect Your Rights
Call or text 800-266-4870 for an appointment with Attorney Philip Hundl. We have offices in Fort Bend County, Wharton County and Matagorda County. Your appointment can be online, in-person or by phone. You can also request a no-obligation case evaluation by clicking the button and completing the form.