POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) It was another heated meeting tonight at the Clay City Municipal Center. Kinder Morgan and their environmental consultant thought they were bringing good news, announcing that there are no short term health effects from the oily mist besides irritation. But many in the crowd say they left with more questions than answers.
Some were visibly upset with the lack of clarity, like a woman who stuck up for her pregnant friend who’s worried about the fate of her unborn child.
She says pointing to the pregnant woman next to her, “She asked you all a question and you didn’t answer.”
Dave Conover with Kinder Morgan Corporate Communications replies, “It’s is below the risk level.”
Kathleen Regan, Environmental Consultant with Amec Foster Wheeler says, “The smell and the odor and the oil is an irritant.”
Kinder Morgan began the meeting by saying sorry to the 49 landowners for the gas leak and the oily mist it spewed out into the atmosphere blanketing the road and nearby homes.
Conover says, “We also want to apologize to all of you for the anxiety and the inconvenience that you’ve suffered.”
Environmental Officials with Amec say the test results came back positive for toxins called PAH’s, which are found in things like wood burning stoves, charcoal grilling, and diesel exhaust. But they were found at very low levels. Officials say going by preliminary results not to be concerned about long term health effects, but they stressed that more testing needs to be done.
Regan says to a woman in the crowd, “We don’t have a lot of data yet but this is what we have and we’re taking more samples and all we see is that nothing in the short-term two years three years four years five years.”
the woman asks, “but in thirty years?”
Regan replies, “But we’re not going to let that happen.”
Kinder Morgan says it’s committed to making things right with the public. It’s a company that’s been here in Powell County since the mid-forties and it hopes to be in the region another century or so.
Kinder Morgan has been going door to door this week and will continue this weekend to go over remediation plans with landowners on a case by case basis. There is a hotline to call for further questions or concerns at (877) 936-2253.
The full testing report and statement from Kinder Morgan can be found on the Powell County 911 Dispatch’s Facebook Page.