MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - According to the Alabama Public Service Commission certificate, Plains Southcap plans to build a 45 mile long oil pipeline (20-25 miles of that pipeline would be in Mobile County) and two terminals in Mobile County.
The pipeline and new tanks will cost approximately $45 million to build and will run from Ten Mile Terminal in Mobile to the Chevron Oil Refinery in Pascagoula.
A portion of the route runs through the watershed draining into Big Creek Lake, Mobile's drinking water supply, which has local officials concerned.
"We think the risk to our drinking water supply is non-negotiable," said Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson.
Mobile County drinking water supply is something officials said they've tried hard to guard and protect, and Hudson said they're going to continue to do so.
"If we can mitigate or eliminate the risk to our drinking water supply, that's our goal," Hudson said.
FOX10 News dug deeper and found records showing the Alabama Public Service Commission signed off on the project in January 2012 but Hudson said she didn't learn about the project until recently and there are a lot of unanswered questions.
"Did ADEM have any input? Did the Corps of Engineers? Was a federal agency involved?" she asked.
FOX10 News questioned Plains Southcap to which Communications Manager Brad Leone responded:
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ADEM, the Alabama Public Service Commission and the County of Mobile have granted the appropriate permits or approvals to construct the route as it is currently planned."
When asked about the location of the pipeline and the threat to Mobile's drinking water, the company replied in part:
"The route for this pipeline was selected after carefully considering a number of factors, including impact to the environment, impact to area land owners, terrain, rights of way, and the directness of the route. "
Mobile County leaders are expected to meet privately with Plains Southcap soon.
MAWSS said it is also concerned with the location of the pipeline and the ultimate goal is to relocate the pipeline outside the watershed.
FOX10 News contacted the PSC but we have not heard back.
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