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Anti-pollution organization celebrates one-year victory over Byhalia Pipeline

One year after halting a crude oil pipeline planned to run through the southwest Memphis community, the Memphis Community Against Pollution celebrated Saturday.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On Saturday an organization called the Memphis Community Against Pollution held an event that celebrated one year of "saying bye-bye" to the proposed Byhalia Pipeline project. 

Back in 2020, the building of a then-new crude oil pipeline was announced. The plans were for the pipeline to cut through southwest Memphis—a community already burdened with crime and considered a food desert. 

Almost a year to the date, Plains All American Pipeline announced it was cancelling its plans to build the Byhalia Connector.

At the time, Memphis Community Against the Pipeline (MCAP) said that they would be pushing Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission to protect the community from future threats.

"We will continue in this fight and we will continue in this journey," MCAP spokesperson Justin Pearson said. 

Stopping the crude oil pipeline from being built from the Valero Plant in downtown Memphis to Byhalia Mississippi was only one goal for the environmentalists and social justice advocates involved.

They also asked that city council approve an aquifer ordinance that would create a review board for underground infrastructure projects. 

"These are protective measures we need to protect our aquifer we need to protect our drinking water, and we need to do it now," Pearson said.

Still, in early March of this year Sen. Ken Yager, R-Kingston, and Rep. Kevin Vaughan, R-Collierville pitched a bill that would take away local control of land use zoning any time it might affect the delivery of gas or "liquified petroleum gas transmission."

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