BROOKWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — A Tuscaloosa County couple was served a restraining order, keeping them from parts of their own property.
CBS 42 was on the property along Lock 17 Road in Brookwood with Kenneth and Loretta Kennedy, when a Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputy served them with an injunction that bars them from interfering with crews from the Black Warrior Methane Corporation.
The company and the Kennedys have been tangled in a legal battle with Black Warrior for several years, with court records dating as far back as 2011.
Black Warrior Methane has been working on a drilling operation beneath the Kennedys’ land, which the couple says has ruined the property that stretches across more than 100 acres.
The Kennedys used to get their water from wells on the property, and they say that because of the drilling, that it is no longer an option.
“For 25 years, you had good drinking water, and all of a sudden it starts smelling like rotten eggs,” Kenneth Kennedy said. As Kennedy spoke, he held a gallon jug of brown water. Kennedy said that the gallon was all that was left in his well.
“If I don’t want them here, why are they here?” Loretta Kennedy asked.
Lawyers for Black Warrior Methane argue that their presence on the property is legal.
According to a complaint filed by the company, the Kennedys do not have the mineral rights to the property. Rather, the company has had those rights for decades.
“We bought the property. It’s paid for,” Loretta Kennedy said. “And then we don’t have a right to say who can come on it and who can’t? That don’t make sense to me at all.”
The Kennedys said they tried to sell their property to Black Warrior Methane, but couldn’t reach an agreement.
To a similar effect, the complaint filed by Black Warrior Methane said the company attempted to compensate the Kennedys.
CBS 42 has left messages for Black Warrior Methane, and its attorneys.