Mobile pipeline

The Alabama Public Service Commission has approved an application by Plains Mobile Pipeline for a 2.2-mile oil pipeline in Mobile County.

The commission voted unanimously Tuesday for a certificate of industrial development.

The commission's chief administrative law judge, John Garner, said the commissioners have limited authority because the project is part of an interstate pipeline, and the commissioners' only determination is whether the $14.4 million project will further industrial development. The commissioners agreed it will.

Local officials in Mobile County say a study will look at safety concerns with building a proposed oil pipeline near the lake that provides most of Mobile's drinking water.

The pipeline project is on hold for now after the city of Semmes placed a stop-work order on construction. The Alabama Public Service Commission approved the pipeline and Mobile County granted a license agreement in March - though county officials say they were unaware of possible threats to Big Creek Lake.

The Mobile County Commission is hoping to meet with officials from a company planning to build a crude-oil pipeline to address concerns over its proposed proximity to Big Creek Lake. reports ( ) Mobile Area Water and Sewer System Director Charles Hyland told commissioners during a meeting Monday the proposed Plains Southcorp pipeline is expected to come within 3,000 feet of the lake - which provides drinking water for the Mobile area.