Bluegrass Pipeline's Developer Is Appealing Eminent Domain Ruling

Aug 15, 2014

Despite the fact that the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline has been suspended, the company behind the project is appealing a circuit court decision that found the company doesn’t have the right of eminent domain.

The planned pipeline would have carried natural gas liquids through Kentucky to processing plants on the Gulf Coast. 

Credit Erica Peterson / Kentucky Public Radio

In May, the companies behind the Bluegrass Pipeline announced they were suspending capital investment in the project, due to a lack of customer commitments. This was after a number of setbacks, including a ruling from Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd that the Bluegrass Pipeline wouldn’t have the power of eminent domain in Kentucky.

Now, the companies are appealing the decision. The Kentucky chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has also weighed in, supporting the original decision. Attorney Randy Strobo worked with the ACLU on the brief. “There are certain constitutional limitations that our Kentucky constitution puts on the state’s eminent domain authority. It has to be for a public use. And that ‘public use’ term is what we’re concerned with,” Strobo says.

Strobo adds, there could be serious constitutional implications if Judge Shepherd’s ruling is reversed.

A decision in the appeal likely won’t happen for several months.