In 2017, when Kinder Morgan announced its Permian Highway Pipeline would be routed through the Texas Hill Country, citizens rose up in protest. Lawsuits were filed to protect property rights, habitat and endangered species.
That did not stop the big trucks, the stringing of pipe, nor clear cutting a half-mile wide swath to make room for hydrocarbons and money to flow from west to east. In every ruling and decision, state agencies and district courts sided with the oil and gas industry. Would nothing stop the pipeline?
Then, one day in late March 2020, Kinder Morgan and its PHP constructors attempted to bore beneath the Blanco River. Their drill bit hit a large void below the surface — a common feature in the karst subterranean landscape of the Hill Country — and more than 36 thousand gallons of drilling fluid was discharged into the Trinity Aquifer and into drinking water.
Pipelines and karst do not mix.