Oklahoma Farmers Along The Midship Pipeline Still Dealing with Damage

Oklahoma farmers express frustration with construction-related damage, and other issues caused from pipelines that persist for years.

Wednesday, October 4th 2023, 7:00 pm

By: News 9, Deanne Stein


-

A group of Oklahoma farmers stand united against a natural gas pipeline company, as frustrations mount over the ongoing damage done to their properties. Midship Pipeline stretches over 200 miles across Oklahoma and underneath dozens of farms. However, these farmers aren’t opposed to that, they’re upset about the damage done during construction, damage they are still dealing with, years later.

“I was born and raised on this farm,” said Ann Schweitzer. “This was not done right.”

Schweitzer took us on a on her 400-acre farm near Calumet in Canadian County, to show us what she has dealt with for more than five years.

“It's buried all along the pipeline and it's not right it's not fair,” she said.

What is buried, she says, is construction debris and tons of it, “What they did was they intentionally buried,” she said. “We watched them, they buried the debris they used anything they could use even our topsoil to mix with it so they could get the pipeline running.”

We met more than a half a dozen other farmers from nearby farms, who like Annette, are living the same nightmare. They say Midship Pipeline buried mountains of construction debris after putting in the natural gas line back in 2019.

“When they came in, I knew, there were so many things that went wrong,” said Terry Luber who owns a farm in Kingfisher County.

Luber knows firsthand the problems because he was a pipeline inspector for eight years before buying his family farm, “All of my life I dreamed of owning this farm to buy it from my family because I’m fourth generation and I owned it a month before they came in and destroyed it,” he said. “About every time I work my wheat field, I pull up something and we found rocks and skids which is the blocks they lay the pipe on.”

Mark Morris owns farmland in Grady County and says he is still pulling debris from his land around the pipeline.

“When I saw the dozer tracks, I figured out what they did, they dug holes and buried it all over my farm,” Morris said. “I have pipelines, I’m not against oil, I’m not against gas, I’ve got them on my place, I just want to be treated fair and I don't want my farm to be abused.”

The farmers say the debris is affecting their crop production, and damaging farm equipment and cattle. Annette’s cow is still limping from the stuck debris in her cow’s hoof, “If she doesn't heal from this, I lose my cow,” she said.

Central Land Consulting (CLC) an advocate for farmers and landowners has filed approximately 938 reports, complaints, and requests to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or (FERC) regarding Midship’s construction practices and failure to comply with environmental orders.

However, in a statement, the company said it is working to rectify the problems. Here is the full statement: “We deeply value the communities where we operate. We have been working with landowners to diligently and safely restore land along the route in close consultation with all relevant regulatory bodies. To date, Midship has successfully restored hundreds of properties and will continue to work where needed until the job is done. Midship has been safely operating for more than three years, supporting Oklahoma’s vital energy economy.” – Bernardo Fallas, Midship Media Relations.

Meanwhile, work crews are still on Annette's farm, ready to fix the problems. But these farmers have little faith in that happening.

“They have come in numerous times claiming they were going to repair it, and all they did is make it worse, every time,” said Luber. “I just want it fixed before I die.”

Now, the group is waiting for FERC to act.

logo

Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News 9 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

October 4th, 2023

February 20th, 2024

February 20th, 2024

February 20th, 2024

Top Headlines

February 21st, 2024

February 21st, 2024

February 21st, 2024

February 21st, 2024