Cameron Co. Man Worried Pipeline Will Affect Environment

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SAN BENITO – A Cameron County man said he is worried about a new natural gas pipeline being placed near his home.

He believes the Valley Crossing Pipeline won't do anything good for the environment.

Cristoval De La Torre said he and his family enjoyed the wildlife near his house for generations. For him, the countryside is a nice place to be, with clean air and open land.

"We're going to be here all our lives. From me, it goes down to my sons and so forth," he said.

De La Torre said he noticed workers near his home a few days ago. He claims he was not alerted about what they were doing.

"As far as us is concerned, we never got any news that they were putting a pipeline until we saw these pipes," he adds.

He's concerned the government doesn't care about whether natural gas in the pipeline will ever find a way into his family's drinking water. The pipeline runs underneath the nearby resaca De Los Fresnos.

"They do this, it affects everything else. It's like the domino effect and they know that. This is stuff they already know," he said.

Valley Crossing Pipeline spokesperson Devin Hotzel said his group started notifying those who lived in the pipeline's path of its construction back in December 2015.

"We've been contacting and working directly with landowners along the route to seek necessary permissions," said Hotzel.

Hotzel added the project has many safeguards to protect the environment. He said those involved in the project work closely with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"Through these consultations, Valley Crossing has been able to adjust to avoid or mitigate such environmental impacts," he explained.

Hotzel noted the pipeline will not affect local drinking water because it is being bored or installed several feet below the resaca.

The nearly 4-feet-wide, 168-mile pipeline is expected to be completed in October of 2018. It is made of high carbon steel.

The pipeline will begin near Agua Dulce, Texas and end near Brownsville. It will transport natural gas in gas form to a Mexican state-run utility and other shippers at several delivery points in South Texas.

The project commenced construction in April. 

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