Congressman Rodney Davis met remotely this week with energy regulators and land owners in Greene County over conflicts with the Spire Pipeline.
Davis says he’s been working with both sides over the last several months to get a myriad of issues resolved: “We have been in constant contact with a lot of the landowners who have brought concerns to us. As a matter of fact, we have been sending those complaints to Spire from the beginning. Obviously, Spire wasn’t doing anything about those complaints, so we began corresponding with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on behalf of the landowners. We have been working with and now sending complaints to FERC on behalf of the landowners, and have been getting responses back from FERC on their behalf and referring those responses back to the landowners. The bottom line is that FERC has asked for an independent analysis of the damages that the landowners have provided us evidence that exist. The Department of Agriculture and the State of Illinois should be releasing or is about ready to release an independent analysis of those damages. We are certainly hopeful that FERC takes the extra step to force Spire to fix these damages that are clear – clear damages that we have been working with the landowners on trying to address and brought to my attention personally last August.”
Davis said he spoke with Greene County Road Commissioner David Marth on Monday about the ongoing road issues that Spire allegedly created. Marth passed along information that Davis says he never initially received: “[Spire] had filed a federal lawsuit against local governmental entities at the beginning of this project. [Marth] hadn’t given us the information, and is now forwarding that information to us. Those are things that we need to be made aware of on the front end of any major project like this, especially since this has been different than any other communities and local levels of government were treated with any other pipeline project that has run through my district or nearby. We are going to continue to work with the Department of Agriculture on behalf of the landowners, and we are going to work with our Greene County local officials and other county officials who had the same problems. I would encourage any local officials to let us know.”
Davis says that he spoke with landowners in Jerseyville and Carrollton this week virtually letting them know about the status of the Department of Agriculture’s independent investigation. Greene County residents have been struggling with the company in court since 2018. Local farmers also have recently voiced concerns with the lack of topsoil replaced after the construction of the pipeline and damages to rural roads, making them unsafe to travel. Davis believes once the investigation concludes, FERC will act on the situation and bring about a resolution for both parties.
The 65 mile steel pipeline runs through Scott, Greene, and Jersey counties and connects to the existing Rockies Express pipeline in rural Scott County, delivering natural gas to approximately 647,000 homes in the greater St. Louis region.