The Pima County Board of Supervisors will officially oppose a planned natural gas pipeline between Tucson and Sasabe.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the board approved a resolution opposing the pipeline and plans to protest the project in the federal approval process.

Kinder Morgan has applied to build a 59-mile pipeline through the Altar Valley and next to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.

The planned route "is the worst possible route and will cause the most damage," the board's resolution states.

The $204 million Sierrita Pipeline Project is scheduled for construction next year.

Jenny Neeley, representing the Sky Island Alliance, told the board her group is "vigorously opposing this project."

"This project is an affront to border security," Neeley said.

The board's resolution states the pipeline corridor will increase border security problems, illegal traffic, safety risks for residents and safety costs.

The project would also have environmental consequences.

"It's going to fragment the habitat severely. It is going to have devastating impacts to the watershed," Neeley told the board.

The resolution states the board doesn't want the pipeline in the Altar Valley, but if it has to go through the area, it should use the existing Arizona 286.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which would issue the pipeline permit, has extended the deadline for comments and protests to April 15 at the request of the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Pima County will file to be an official intervenor in the case, joining the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance and Santa Margarita Ranch.

The public can submit comments on Kinder Morgan's application online at in the eFile section or by mail to Office of the Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20426. All comments should refer to docket number CP13-73-000.

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at or 573-4346. On Twitter @BeckyPallack.