MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) has plans to introduce a bill to protect Memphis’ water from a controversial proposed pipeline.
Akbari says the Byhalia Pipeline project could affect the source of clean drinking water for millions of people. It is described as a 49-mile crude oil pipeline system that would run from Memphis to Marshall County, Mississippi.”
Akbari sent a news release to WMC Friday that said in part:
“No matter where you live, we want our families to have clean drinking water and, right now, Memphis has one of the best public water supplies in the nation thanks to the Memphis Sand aquifer. But even though this is one of the most valuable natural resources on the planet, there are almost no ironclad protections that ensure that the aquifer will be healthy for generations to come.”
She is also calling on federal officials to step in.
“Along with many others, I am encouraging the Biden administration to reform the Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit 12. There is no national or local interest in allowing developers to bypass the safeguards included in the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.”
Akbari says the community is frustrated and wants to strengthen state laws that protect the city’s drinking water. The bill would allow local leaders to conserve the underground water supply and require more environmental studies before large infrastructure projects are approved, according to Akbari.
Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen has also called on President Joe Biden to rescind the permit for the pipeline.