Source: Spectrum News 1
June 29, 2021
By Erin Kelly
BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. — Opponents of a proposed Louisville Gas and Electric natural gas pipeline appeared before a Bullitt County judge Monday, asking him to reconsider his previous ruling and hold another hearing. The 12-mile project would be located in Bullitt County near Bernheim Forest.
Judge Rodney Burress ruled in May that LG&E had the right to obtain easements on private properties for the project.
Attorney Beth Maze told Burress Monday that he didn’t have all the evidence at the time of his ruling.
Her clients’ previous attorney did not file certain information with the court, she said.
“Because counsel was ineffective, you were not given the opportunity to have all of the information before you and there is a plethora of information,” she said.
Maze is representing the Rummage family and is asking for the judge to reconsider his previous ruling and hold another hearing.
“The area where the Rummages live is an area with sinkholes,” Maze told Spectrum News 1. “I would say that if the ground sinks, it’s somewhat akin to an earthquake and it is also in a flood plain, so this is a high consequence and a dangerous area for this pipeline to be going through and that is one reason that the Rummages don’t want this going through their property. They’re afraid.”
Attorney John Cox, who is representing other clients along the proposed route, appeared remotely and asked for the judge to determine the primary purpose of the pipeline.
“The argument in its simplest form is that the primary purpose for the taking of this land is for Jim Beam, not for public use, not for the benefit of the public,” Cox told Spectrum News 1 last week.
LG&E attorney Monica Braun argued there is no basis for another hearing.
“There are 450 customers desiring natural gas service at least and those requests for services have been deferred,” she said in court. “Jim Beam may want additional gas, but there’s a whole lot of other homes and businesses and persons in Bullitt County that would also like natural gas.”
In his May decision, Burress wrote, “the Court finds this project would undoubtedly serve the broader public in addition to greatly benefiting Jim Beam.”
Burress said he would review the information presented Monday.
It’s not clear when he will make a decision.