PSC Approves Permit for Sandpiper Crude Oil Pipeline
(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BISMARCK, N.D., June 25 -- The North Dakota Public Service Commission issued the following news release:
The North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved a siting permit for a new crude oil pipeline. The Sandpiper pipeline, operated by North Dakota Pipeline Company LLC (formerly Enbridge), will cross Williams, Mountrail, Ward, McHenry, Pierce, Towner, Ramsey, Nelson and Grand Forks Counties. The entire project consists of approximately 616 miles of new pipeline to be located in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The approximately 300-mile long North Dakota portion of the project begins near Tioga and extends east across the state exiting North Dakota just south of Grand Forks.
The project will address current and future demands for pipeline export capacity from the Williston Basin as a result of the major increase in oil production and will help reduce trucks on the roads. It is estimated that a fleet of approximately 4,300 trucks per day would be required to transport the volumes projected to be carried by the pipeline, or an equivalent of four oil trains.
"This pipeline is vital to support North Dakota's growing energy industry and provide a safe, clean way to transport crude oil," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak who holds the siting portfolio. "It will reduce pressure on the rails, eliminate trucks from the road, and help to reduce congestion in our transportation system and improve public safety."
Part of the order approved today by the PSC ensures that North Dakota Pipeline Company LLC (NDPL) will incorporate certain safety measures into the project, including the following:
* NDPL has hired an Emergency Response Coordinator for the N.D. region.
* NDPL will conduct a comprehensive public education program to ensure the public and emergency responders are aware of pipeline safety and emergency response protocols.
* NDPL has developed an emergency response plan in consultation with the federal Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
* The project will be constructed and operated using a variety of safety measures including a system designed to identify and raise an alarm in response to any unexpected operational changes, such as pressure drops.
"It's important we continue to develop the pipeline capacity in North Dakota," said Commissioner Brian Kalk. "It's equally important to remember that when the infrastructure is in the ground, we protect it and remember to call before you dig."
The current pipeline capacity for NDPL is 355,000 barrels per day. The Sandpiper project will add an additional capacity of 250,000 barrels per day in North Dakota between the Beaver Lodge and Berthold stations.
"The Sandpiper Pipeline will be an enormous addition to North Dakota's energy infrastructure," said Commissioner Randy Christmann. "It will carry more than twice as much North Dakota oil as the Keystone XL would, and has capacity to be upgraded significantly. This is a major step forward in moving oil in the safest and most efficient way possible."
The project also includes the expansion of the existing Beaver Lodge pump station in Williams County, the expansion of the existing Stanley pump station in Mountrail County, the expansion of the existing Berthold pump station in Ward County, and the construction of a new pump station near Lakota in Nelson County.
Public hearings for this project were held in February in Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Minot during which community leaders and citizens were able to learn more about the project and offer public comment for consideration. Total cost of the North Dakota portion of the project is estimated to be $1.3 billion.
The project is still pending approval in Minnesota. NDPL will also have to submit documentation prior to beginning construction showing State Historical Society of ND, State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) concurrence that no historic properties or sites will be affected.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission is a constitutionally created state agency with authority to permit, site and regulate certain business activities in the state including electric and gas utilities, telecommunications companies, power plants, electric transmission lines, pipelines, railroads, grain elevators, auctioneers, commercial weighing devices, pipeline safety and coal mine reclamation. For more information, contact the Public Service Commission at (701) 328-2400 or www.psc.nd.gov.
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