Pipeline meeting scheduled

Published 12:46 am Friday, July 29, 2016

NATCHEZ — Representatives from the American Midstream gas pipeline will meet in August with Kingston residents facing loss of gas service.

The meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 9, will be at the Kingston Schoolhouse.

American Midstream is currently replacing its Midla pipeline, which runs from Monroe to Baton Rouge, with a modern, larger pipeline from Franklin Parish to Adams County.

While other customers of the pipeline who won’t be included on the new line have found other alternatives, 154 customers in Kingston — which is serviced by Mississippi River gas — are set to lose service when the line is capped at Cloverdale.

That’s in part because the line that runs from Cloverdale to Kingston is an old line that ultimately needs to be replaced for safety concerns.

District 2 Supervisor David Carter said that while nothing is finalized, things look good that a short-term solution may be found.

“The line is still the bad line, but if we can get them to extend this five or 10 years, we can find somebody to extend (service) into this area,” he said. “Our top priority is to ensure the short-term, independent-term life of the line and the long-term is to find a permanent replacement for that line.”

That’s why representatives from American Midstream will meet with customers to discuss options and what has to happen, he said.

Ultimately, a second company will have to come in and replace the 18-mile line from Cloverdale to Kingston with something more modern and some regulatory hurdles — including changes from federal to state jurisdiction —will have to be cleared to keep the line open in the long term, Carter said.

“American Midstream doesn’t own the line — they just provide the gas to the line — so somebody has to be agreeable to continue serving people in that area,” he said. “(But) without any foreseen legal or regulatory issues, we do plan to continue that service.”

A representative from American Midstream did not return a message seeking comment.