Pipeline Bills | VideoJennifer Joas | 3/14/2013
More than 2,000 miles of pipeline were laid in the last year in North Dakota. And as the oil and gas industry grows, the state expects that number to increase tenfold. That is why legislators are looking at two pipeline bills. The first is to establish corridors or designated routes for pipelines.
"We continue to flare. And we need pipelines. And the pipelines will help get the trucks off the road," said Daryl Dukart, a Dunn County landowner.
According the House Bill 1147, once the Public Service Commission approves the initial route for the pipeline, the companies will not have to jump through as many hoops if they need to deviate from that route during the construction phase.
"There are no compromises in here. Landowners and everyone is being properly protected in this legislation," said Representative George Keiser (R) from Bismarck.
The second bill, House Bill 1333, will allow the Industrial Commission to keep a map, and more closely monitor construction and operations of smaller gathering lines used for natural gas or salt water to reduce the necessity for flaring. There have been two salt water pipeline spills in North Dakota over the past 15 years, and both were because the company did not properly construct the pipeline.
"You cannot trade one set of problems with the truck traffic, for another set of problems without putting something in place to regulate that activity," said Myron Hanson with the Northwest Landowners Association.
The second bill would also establish a reclamation fund for older unused pipelines, pipeline leaks or illegal dumping in North Dakota. The reclamation fund will come from the oil production tax, and put aside five million dollars per year, with a cap of $75 million.