Proposed Oil Pipeline To Run Through Mobile's Drinking Water Sup

Proposed Oil Pipeline To Run Through Mobile's Drinking Water Supply

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News of a oil pipeline being built through the Big Creek Watershed isn't sitting too well with the Mobile Water board.

Barbara Shaw with MAWSS says the 40 mile pipeline would run from downtown Mobile to the Chevron plant in Paraguay, and be capable of moving 150 thousand barrels of oil per day.

"This is the drinking supply for the whole city of Mobile, part of the county, city of Prichard, there's only one," said Shaw.

Plains All American is the company proposing the project. It's plans were approved last summer by the Alabama Public Service commission, without the Mobile Water and Sewer System's approval. MAWSS found out about the proposed project last summer, when plains all American sent them a letter requesting to build on their property.

"We immediately sent a letter back saying this is not a good idea. This is not in the best interest of our customers or of our efforts to protect the water supply. Please see if you can reroute this pipeline. Their response was that they would assist us with funding a study to learn more about the pipeline and the possible risks," said Shaw.

The pipeline will be built underground, going through Hamilton Creek. About 100 yards from Hamilton Creek stands a sign asking the public to contact MAWSS in case if any hazardous spill. Groups like Mobile Bay Sierra Club feels an oil pipeline is unwarranted.

"If you take one drop of motor oil or gas from your car and put it in a glass of water, and stir it up and try to drink it, you won't your nose and mouth would rebel against that. How much risk is an acceptable risk when you are talking about a drinking water supply.," said David Underhill.

Underhill points to recent spills across the nation - like the ExxonMobil pipeline that broke in Nebraska spilling thousands of gallon of crude oil in a neighborhood and nearby waterway.

MAWSS is currently awaiting the results of the study to determine how it will proceed.

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