MOBILE, Ala (WALA) - A 36-page letter has been sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from the attorneys who represent Mobile County, asking that the Corps revoke the Nationwide permit that was issued.
The letter is allows Plains Southcap to build an oil pipeline through the Big Creek Lake watershed.
Big Creek Lake provides the drinking water supply to much of Mobile County as well as surrounding communities.
The letter also details the concerns for the water supply including the possibility of a spill and the impact it would have.
"We have asked they re-evaluate that process and look at an individual permit. That would be the route they would take which has a lot more scrutiny. So they would have to definitely come in and look at the impacts on our watershed," said Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson.
Hudson said Plains Southcap is willing to talk, but that's about it.
"I think the attitude on their part is they cannot and will not move it completely out of the watershed, and we feel like to be completely safe that we need to get it out of the vicinity," Hudson said.
In fact, in the letter, it states:
"It is not a question of "if" but "when" a spill from this pipeline will occur. Pipeline spills are a routine event and inevitable over the lifetime of the pipeline, particularly as maintenance issues become more problematic."
County Attorney Jay Ross said the Corps doesn't have to respond.
"If they don't respond or don't do it, then this could lead to litigation to challenge the Corps on the issuance of the permit," Ross said.
Ross said it will be several weeks before a decision is made.
Plains Southcap is building a crude oil pipeline from north Mobile County to a Pascagoula refinery. The pipeline would come within 3,380 linear feet, equivalent to 11 football fields, to the primary water supply intake and pumping station for the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System according to the letter.
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