SEMMES, Ala. (WALA) - What used to be a Semmes homeowner's property is now the building site for an underground crude oil pipeline - a pipeline that will run from Ten Mile Terminal in Mobile County to the Pascagoula refinery in Mississippi.
Construction is underway on Hamilton Creek which feeds into Big Creek Lake, Mobile County's main drinking water supply.
"If they (Plains Southcap) have an oil spill in the wrong spot, that's what everyone's upset about (and) this (Hamilton Creek) would be one of the spots that's bad," said a land owner, who asked to remain anonymous.
The property owner said you can't see the construction on Hamilton Creek unless you go onto private property.
He showed FOX10 News an exclusive look at the construction from his property, some of which he said he sold to Plains Southcap.
"I simply read the order, read what they (Plains Southcap) had obtained and it's like there's nothing you can do."
In October of 2011, Plains Southcap publicized a notice of a public hearing about the pipeline project in the Press Register.
A month later, Plains Southcap met with the Alabama Public Service Commission in Montgomery to apply for a certificate of industrial development which the PSC later granted.
David Rountree, Chief of staff to Public Service Commissioner Terry Dun, said the purpose of the PSC is to decide if a project will further industrial development.
Rountree said under Alabama law, the PSC cannot say anything about the environmental aspects and therefore it did not.
Mobile County officials said they were not present at that meeting and neither were any citizens. Both parties said there should have been more communication about the meeting, not just an article in the newspaper.
"The least thing they could do is mail letters to everyone affected," the land owner said.
Records show during the public hearing, Plains Southcap was asked how it intended to acquire the right-of-way for the pipeline to which it responded:
"We intend to negotiate with the landowners and if that does not turn out well, then we would like to condemn."
That's exactly what the land owner said happened to him.
Mobile County Officials met with MAWSS and Plains Southcap to discuss re-routing the pipeline away from Mobile County's drinking water supply.
Kellogg Brown and Root is conducting a study on the safety of the pipeline on the watershed.
MAWSS is paying for the study, but Plains Southcap has agreed to reimburse MAWSS once the study is complete.
Upon its completion, Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson said she hopes both parties will be able to move forward with negotiations.
FOX10 News left a message for Plains Southcap about the company obtaining property for the pipeline. We will let you know when we hear back.
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