Is the Byhalia Pipeline is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You? Legend: The orange line represents the proposed crude oil pipeline project designed to connect the two (purple) existing crude oil pipelines. Please visit Byhalia Connection.com to stay abreast of updates regarding the Byhalia Connection pipeline proposed route, discover how landowners may be impacted now and in the future, and to sign up to receive information and project updates. Story and Pictures by Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson The Byhalia Connection pipeline is a proposal for erecting a “crude oil pipeline system that will run nearly 45 miles from Shelby County TN, to Marshall County, MS.” The proposed pipeline is designed to connect two existing crude oil pipelines, “the Diamond Pipeline which provides the Valero Memphis Reinery with crude oil for eight states including Tennessee, and the Capline Pipeline, which runs from the Gulf Coast to central Illinois.” Currently these pipelines do not connect and need to be connected to “strengthen the region’s economic vitality and American energy independence.” A series of community open houses were held to allow impacted homeowners and businesses the opportunity to connect with project representatives to learn more about the proposed project. Events were held in Southaven and Byhalia, MS January 21-22 and on February 8, 2020; and events were held at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church Westwood in Memphis on January 23 and February 8. An additional meeting was arranged for the Boxtown Neighborhood Association. It was held at White’s Chapel AME Church, 1712 Fields Road in Memphis on Saturday, February 15, 2020. “The White’s Chapel meeting was a question and answer session and very few questions were answered without the company representatives,” said State Representative, District 86, Democrat Rep. Barbara Ward Cooper. Of the two meetings that Cooper attended, she stated that many of the questions inquired as t1o (1) how the pipeline would affect resident’s health and safety, (2) who would monitor the pipeline, (3) what market value had been assigned for property invasion, (3) the location and depth of the excavation area, (4) the average time before the possible deterioration of the pipeline, (5) the beneit to the community for installing the pipeline, and (6) the plan for evacuation” especially should the need arise quickly. Lots of trinket-type giveaways designed to promote the project and several project representatives were on hand and ready to explain the pipeline proposal to all who cared to listen or had questions they wanted answered during the last day of listening sessions at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church Westwood on Saturday, February 8, 2020. The morning session included a center station with morning foods and drinks and the inal community open house took place at the Landers’ Center in Southaven, MS, at 2 pm that same afternoon. 26

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