Dear Memphis residents,
We’ve heard you.
We can’t just tell you we’re different — we need to show you we are.
Actions speak louder than words and trust is not given, it’s earned. Byhalia Pipeline LLC, a joint venture between Plains All American and Valero, believes in treating people with respect and fairness and doing the right thing. Our project — the Byhalia Connection Pipeline, a 49-mile crude oil pipeline that will connect two existing pipelines — is a safe, responsible way to meet the energy needs of our country and provide a long-term benefit to Mid-South communities.
Even though Memphis has more than 10 oil and gas pipelines, we understand that they aren’t built every day, and that this project might raise questions. So, for the past 18 months, we’ve listened.
Through numerous open houses, community meetings, our Community Advisory Panel and discussions with hundreds of residents and local leaders in Memphis, we’ve worked to establish open, honest and ongoing dialogue. Thank you for laying out your questions and expectations, and for sharing your values, beliefs and experiences. We are committed to showing you that we stand behind our promise to operate our business safely for you, the greater Memphis community and the environment.
This is who we are.
As a company, we believe that everyone benefits from access to responsibly produced and affordable energy that allows us to fuel our cars, heat our homes and produce the goods and materials we use every day, such as medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and electronics. Access to affordable energy improves life expectancy, education and economic opportunity.
Protecting you & where you live.
We’ve spent more than 10,000 hours to understand the unique environmental conditions along our pipeline route so we could design, build and operate safely here.
- The pipeline runs through South Memphis to connect to the Valero Refinery. We chose a route across mostly vacant property to limit impacts to this community.
- The route in Shelby County accounts for seven miles of the total project route. Nearly 86 percent of the project route, or 42 miles of pipeline, crosses portions of DeSoto and Marshall Counties in Mississippi.
- This route was chosen after carefully reviewing population density, environmental features, local gathering spots and historic cultural sites. It purposefully avoids Nonconnah Creek, T.O. Fuller State Park, area flood control structures and a coal ash remediation site.
- The majority of the pipeline will be 3-4 feet below the surface but safely away from the aquifer, which is far deeper than our pipeline.
- Pipelines like this do not cause cancer or elevated health risks.
- We use high-quality, US-made steel pipe that meets or exceeds industry and regulatory standards.
- Highly trained pipeline controllers use advanced technology to carefully monitor our pipelines — 24/7/365 — and complete regular aerial and ground safety inspections along the route.
- Many residents and businesses in the area believe in our dedication to safety and the long-term benefits of the project, as we’ve acquired agreements to construct and operate our pipeline with 96 percent of landowners along the project footprint.
- We’ve secured the environmental permits from federal, state and local agencies needed to begin construction.
- Plains All American has been safely operating a crude oil pipeline in Memphis for years and we expect Byhalia Connection to be no different. Most homes or businesses here are located within five miles of one or more of the 10 existing oil or natural gas pipelines. This is true regardless of which Memphis neighborhood you call home.
Bringing Benefits to the Community.
A pipeline is a major investment in the community and we want to share a few of the positive benefits you can expect:
- You’ve told us that communities along our route need investment. We’ve responded by investing more than $1 million in 2020 to address community needs and support the people who live in proximity to our pipeline. So far, that equates to:
- 3,000+ Shelby County Schools students and 200+ teachers received supplies and financial support
- 170 laptops and 55 hotspots for remote learning
- Over 225,000 meals provided and another 4,200 families supported through area food pantries and food banks
- Over $275,000 invested in COVID-19 relief, including childcare for healthcare workers, masks and co-pay support
- A new roof for a non-profit that supports Memphis school children
- We plan to provide even more community investment in 2021. Our priority is to support organizations and causes with the highest need, regardless of whether our partners support our project. We give and get involved because we believe in being a good neighbor. We’re grateful to make a difference wherever we can.
- We’ll bring an economic infusion of more than $14 million to the Mid-South area during construction and will pay property taxes every year the line is in service — including an estimated $500,000 annually in Shelby County alone.
- Projects like this can reduce train and truck traffic. According to the Department of Transportation, it would require a constant line of 750 tanker trucks per day, loading up and moving out every two minutes, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to move the volume of even a modest pipeline like ours. The railroad equivalent of this single pipeline would be 225 28,000-gallon tank cars, or more than 2 trains per day, every day.
- This project strengthens the long-term viability of the Valero Memphis refinery and its more than 500 employees and contractors, making the refinery more competitive as it produces transportation fuels and other products essential to life.
- It’s also a $150+ million investment in American infrastructure — buying U.S.-made pumps, pipe material and valves, and employing local companies to support construction.
While we may sometimes disagree, we’ll continue to work with you to understand your concerns and strive to meet your expectations. All the while, our commitment to treating Memphians with care, respect and consideration remains firm. We take our responsibility to you very seriously and we remain dedicated to listening, gaining and maintaining your trust, and safely constructing and operating the Byhalia Connection Pipeline.
Vice President, Plains All American