Friday, December 25, 2015

Holding out against Diamond pipeline taking

Posted By on Fri, Dec 25, 2015 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge reporter_map.jpg
Dwight and Sandy Kimbriel of Clarksville are, they believe, the last holdouts in Johnson County in granting an easement for the Diamond Project’s crude oil pipeline. Now, the pipeline company is taking them to court and asking for immediate access to their property.

The Diamond Project, an $800 million project by Valero/Plains All American, will transport Bakken shale crude from Cushing, Okla., to Valero’s Memphis refinery. The oil spill from an Exxon pipeline that despoiled a neighborhood in Mayflower and required the excavation of poisoned soil from a nearby wetland has sharpened public concerns about pipeline routes.

Arkansas law gives common carriers the right to take property, and Diamond has filed an eminent domain petition against the couple. Trial is set for Jan. 8 in Clarksville Circuit Court before Judge William M. Pearson.

The Kimbriels, who are representing themselves in court because, Sandy Kimbriel said, they cannot afford a lawyer, have been offered $4,590 by Diamond in compensation. But the Kimbriels believe the pipeline, which they say will run 24 feet from the foundation of their Clarksville home, will make their property impossible to sell, based on information they received from an appraisal. The Kimbriels’ 2,414-square-foot house is located on two-and-a-half acres surrounded by woods at 4 Heather Oaks Way.

A document by the Kimbriels’ appraiser, Cornerstone, said the pipeline would harm “market appeal, land usage and desirability” of the Kimbriel’s home, valued at $209,000. “The realistic value of this property with the high pressure oil line running within feet of the structure, and current build-back regulations imposed by lenders and insurance guidelines, would be reduced to a total loss of value.”

Diamond’s first petition, filed in June, said the easement would be 50 feet. But after the Kimbriels filed with the court a copy of a survey of their property showing the Diamond easement would cross a corner of the Kimbriels’ house, Diamond amended its suit to reduce the easement to 35 feet. (Diamond is boxed in by an existing power line easement 50 feet from the Kimbriels’ house.)

Also named in the suit is Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS) of Delaware, which holds the mortgage to the Kimbriels’ home. Its response to the suit said that the compensation offered by the company “is not sufficient for the taking of any portion” of the property and asks the court to dismiss Diamond’s petition “for failure to state facts upon which relief can be granted.” The attorney for MERS, Randy Grice of North Little Rock, declined comment, as did Plains All American. Plains All American also declined to say what other suits the company may have filed in Arkansas.

Arkansas statute 23-15-101 grants common carriers the right of eminent domain. A bill in this year’s legislative session by state Democratic Rep. Warwick Sabin of Little Rock that would have amended the law to require utilities to get a certificate from the Public Service Commission and follow certain rules for notification and environmental considerations died in the House.

Diamond sent a surveyor to their property two years ago, Sandy Kimbriel said, but she said she and her husband thought they were with the Clean Line project to carry electric power from a wind farm in Oklahoma to Tennessee. “We didn’t know until we got papers last October that it was an oil pipeline,” she said. She said the company told her they would not trench the land but would tunnel through from across the street, though the petition would give Diamond the right to clear, excavate and change the pipeline size, among other changes.

“We don’t want them here,” Kimbriel said, “but if they’re here we want them to be fair.”

The proposed route of the pipeline, which requires the approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers but requires no public hearings, has raised the concerns of Clarksville Light and Water as well because it crosses three streams that supply drinking water for Clarksville and the other cities in Johnson County that the utility serves. 

The state Department of Health has informed the Corps of its objections to two pipeline crossings, one at the White River and another near the Hughes Community Water Association well, and the fact that the company has not provided a complete route map to the department.

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

Readers also liked…

  • 2nd guilty plea in bribery case over state mental health services

    Arkansas Business reports here on a federal court filing Wednesday that shows a second person has pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to help a major contractor of the state Department of Human Services.
    • Sep 17, 2015
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • The plight of the refugees: Dark episodes in Arkansas

    Ernest Dumas reaches into history, some personal, for moments in Arkansas's view of refugees. It was brought to mind by the current crisis in Europe and the political divisions over whether the U.S. should respond to the needs of the displaced.
    • Sep 22, 2015

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Facing closure, Wilson Elementary families deliver angry message to school leaders

    "Why do you guys not care about your community? You’re tearing it down, not building it up, especially in the black community … It’s just a simple question — do you care?" one mother asked the superintendent. "Ma’am, I do care deeply about this district, and I do believe wholeheartedly we are making a better district every day," Poore replied.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation