Residents Pack Conference Room for Pipeline Contractor Town Hall Meeting

Residents Pack Conference Room for Pipeline Contractor Town Hall Meeting

ALPINE, TX (KWES) - Representatives from Energy Transfer Partners, the contractors for the Trans Pecos and Comanche Trail Pipelines were on-hand Wednesday evening in a town hall meeting answering any questions and concerns from the public.

There wasn't an empty seat in the house inside Sul Ross University's Espino Conference Room.

Energy Transfer Partners made a brief presentation. They updated residents on the status of the project.

"We are in the process of surveying all of the properties along the 143 miles of the route as it stands now," Vicki Anderson Granado of the Granado Communications Group and Media Relations for Energy Transfer Partners, said.

The exact route for both pipelines isn't set in stone, and the company provided possible alternative routes. These pipelines will meet another pipeline from Mexico at the border, where it will continue into San Elizario and Chihuahua.

"We are the transporter. We don't own the gas. So as we describe it, we're like the FedEx truck on the highways. They don't own the packages. They just transport them," said Granado.

Energy Transfer Partners also addressed safety concerns, highlighting a centralized control center which monitors gas flows 24/7, with the capability to shut down the valves in less than a minute.

"We're really trying to make people aware of how this pipeline is going to affect this region and we want them to be aware of how they can protect this region from industrialization," said Belle Peña, Media Liaison for the Big Bend Conservation Alliance.

The contractors answered the public's questions concerning water use, safety, and environmental concerns.

"My question to the group today, the majority of pipeline-related incidents of fire, injury and death is a result of poor maintenance of the pipeline itself," said Alpine Resident, Travis Lutz.

As residents walked out, many say questions still remain.

"Kinda looked staged, but you know they're all doing their job and they have a certain responsibility. I respect that. I just wish they would respect us and we're concerned about where we live," said Alpine Resident, Jonas Bell.

Construction is anticipated to start late this year, or early 2016.

As resistance to the Trans Pecos Pipeline persists, what about the Comanche Trail Pipeline which will run through Reeves, Culberson, Hudspeth and El Paso County to San Elizario? We dig deeper into the construction process, and whether a project of this magnitude can be stopped, coming up on Monday, July 13th in our special report on NewsWest 9 at 6.