Press Release | November 21, 2016

Pipeline Rupture Contamination Should be Getting Better, but it’s Getting Worse

Greenville, S.C. – Kinder Morgan’s latest report to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) shows that toxic pollutant concentrations from a gasoline pipeline rupture in Anderson County nearly two years ago are at the highest levels yet recorded, despite the company’s assurances it is working to clean up the spill.

In December, 2014, Belton residents discovered gasoline pools on the ground and smelled strong gasoline odors near Kinder Morgan’s Plantation Pipeline in Anderson County.  It was later determined that an old pipeline repair patch had ruptured, spilling at least 370,000 gallons of gasoline.

For more than a year and a half, Kinder Morgan never tested for pollution of nearby Brown’s Creek on the side of the creek polluted by the spill, despite requests from DHEC. 

Kinder Morgan first tested the stream in the area of the pollution in August, 2016, and Kinder Morgan’s new tests showed water pollution more than 200 times higher than what the company had previously reported to DHEC. 

Kinder Morgan’s results from September, 2016, have just become publicly available.  Those results show the water pollution increasing, almost two years after the spill was discovered.

“These results show that two years after the spill, Kinder Morgan’s water pollution continues to get worse,” said Frank Holleman, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center.  “It is way past time that Kinder Morgan be required to take effective action to stop polluting Anderson County’s waters.”

SELC, on behalf of Upstate Forever and the Savannah Riverkeeper, has sent Kinder Morgan and DHEC notice that it intends to enforce the Clean Water Act against Kinder Morgan’s pollution by filing suit in U.S. District Court.

“We need quick, strong action to address this unlawful pollution of Anderson County’s clean water,” said Andrea Cooper, executive director of Upstate Forever.  “Kinder Morgan’s water pollution cannot continue and continue to get worse.”

Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus says Kinder Morgan has been far too slow to clean up the pollution.

“The Savannah River Watershed, including the waterways in Anderson County, should be protected from pipeline spills by Kinder Morgan,” Bonitatibus said. “This water pollution needs to stop and needs to stop as soon as possible.”

Kinder Morgan’s proposed Corrective Action Plan to address its Belton pipeline spill is available for public comment at http://www.scdhec.gov/Apps/Environment/PublicNotices/SearchAndDisplay/PDF/4234.  Problems with the Corrective Action Plan can be found at https://upstateforever.org/kinder-morgan-belton-pipeline-spill-public-comments/. Citizens can send their objections and comments to Bobbi Coleman at DHEC until November 28 at colemabj@dhec.sc.gov

Press Contacts

Frank Holleman

Senior Attorney with a focus on litigation

Phone: 919-967-1450

Christopher K. DeScherer

Director, South Carolina Office

Phone: 843-720-5270