Residents voice their concerns about oily mist release in Powell County

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POWELL COUNTY-Ky. (WTVQ)-After they say they were getting the runaround from officials with Kinder Morgan, who owns the Tennessee Gas Pipeline plant near Clay City, the people of Powell County are demanding an explanation from the company at a meeting at the Clay City Municipal Center. Many are looking for answers after a thick mist of natural gas condensate fell across the area when lightning struck the plant Monday afternoon.

Terry Miller tells the panel of officials “I’ve been here 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like this coming out…And the solution was hitting me and on my lips it was greasy it was oily.”

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John Pannell, Division Director with Kinder Morgan, says one of the computers that operate the Clay City plant’s building protection system was damaged. In that situation the device is designed to make an emergency shutdown which it did, venting gas into the air. But the oily mist that was released was out of the ordinar.y

Pannell says, “That’s not what usually happens. That’s not normal.”

It’s unclear how much mist was released, but the Miller family says it could be taking a toll on their health.



Betty Miller says, “I have headaches and I have blisters in my mouth and I just feel like ehh,” as she sticks her tongue out.

She says her ten year daughter ran around outside without shoes on and now has questionable blisters on her feet.

Kinder Morgan insists that the community is safe and points out that their employees continue to do their job at the plant, despite the fact that test results of nearby samples collected won’t be in till Thursday afternoon.

Their 34-week pregnant spokesperson, Stephanie Kindregan, addressing many of the moms in the audience,

“Yeah I was out at our facility today dressed just like this. But that being said, I’ll go back to what John said. Every single person in this room needs to do what you feel most comfortable with.”

The company has offered to put people up in a motel, with people paying out of their own pockets now and being reimbursed later. Some people didn’t like that arrangement.

The Powell County Judge Executive has called for an update meeting here at the city center on Friday at 5:30pm to hopefully go over those test results.

Kinder Morgan has set up a hotline at the (877) 936-2253 to help answer any further questions or concerns.