MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis City Council has once again delayed the vote on an ordinance that could put up barriers for a controversial construction project in the Mid-South.
The proposed path of the Byhalia Pipeline would stretch 49 miles through several Memphis neighborhoods and parts of North Mississippi. It would be built on top of the Memphis sand aquifer, the source of the Bluff City’s drinking water.
Councilors were initially set to vote on the ordinance last month but put the vote on hold to gather more information. Another vote was scheduled for Tuesday but has been delayed again until July 6 amid legal questions about the council’s authority.
The proposed ordinance would establish a review board, requiring any company interested in installing a pipeline in the Memphis sand aquifer to adhere to certain guidelines.
It would also prevent oil pipelines from being built within 1,500 feet of schools, places of worship, parks, homes and recreation centers without special permit approval.
The ordinance would create a more difficult process for the Byhalia Pipeline project moving forward but Plains All Americans threatened legal action if the ordinance is passed.
In exchange, Plains All America agrees to pause work on the pipeline until July and will not move forward with eminent domain lawsuits
Plains All American Director of Communications and Government Relations Brad Leone sent a statement regarding the delayed vote:
“We applaud the City Council’s decision to fully understand the ramifications of this ordinance and setback zoning amendment before taking further action. We remain committed to working with all stakeholders and plan to use the next eight weeks to consider options outside of the currently proposed route. We’ll work with the City Council attorney to memorialize the pause of the project, the ordinance and the setbacks.”