Press Release | March 8, 2017

Kinder Morgan and Columbia Pipeline Group Lobby Tennessee to Reject Nashville’s Clean Air Plans

Nashville, TN–For decades Nashville has had the power to protect the health of its citizens by controlling its air quality. Now, with heavy lobbying from the oil and gas industry, that power to ensure the health of its citizens is at risk. 

This Thursday, March 9th, the Air Pollution Control Board of the State of Tennessee will decide whether to approve Nashville’s requirement that air pollution sources comply with local zoning regulations. Should the Board vote no, as the industry urges, Nashville could become vulnerable to oil and gas industry pollution. 

“Nashville should have the power to protect its citizens and their right to breathe clean air,” said Southern Environmental Law Center’s Nashville Attorney, Anne Passino. “It’s time for Tennessee to start standing up to bullying from the oil and gas industry, and to choose the health of Tennesseans over profits to the industry.”

Kinder Morgan, Columbia Pipeline Group and other oil and gas companies, have been lobbying the state to reject this zoning compliance regulation, which would apply to two proposed massive compressor stations in the Nashville area.  Kinder Morgan’s proposed compressor station in Joelton, TN is in an agricultural and residential area next to a park. Columbia Pipeline Group is aiming to build a compressor station in Antioch, TN in a densely populated urban area.  As it stands neither station complies with the city's zoning regulations. In a nutshell, Kinder Morgan and Columbia Pipeline Group argue that unless this provision is approved by the State Air Board, they are not required to comply with it–a provision applicable to every other business and industry operating in Nashville. 

SELC is joining the residents of Nashville in calling on the air board to maintain the city's important public health protections. The Air Pollution Control Board of the State of Tennessee has the power to protect the state’s citizens and is charged by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to “represent the public interest” .   

“The public interest is best served by ensuring localities have the right to determine what level of air quality is acceptable for its citizens,” says Passino.
The Air Pollution Control Board of the State of Tennessee had the meeting on Thursday March 9th, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. at William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower at 312 Rosa L. Parks Ave, Nashville Room.

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About The Southern Environmental Law Center:

The Southern Environmental Law Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. With nine offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Birmingham, AL; Nashville, TN; Asheville, NC; and Richmond, VA), SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect the South’s natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region. www.SouthernEnvironment.org