Pipeline Break Prompts Discussion - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Pipeline Break Prompts Discussion

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The Tesoro pipeline break that spilled 20,600 barrels of oil in Tioga is prompting a discussion on North Dakota's jurisdiction over crude oil pipelines.

The Tesoro pipeline falls under federal jurisdiction, specifically the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. However, the state's public service commission has the ability to inspect natural gas pipelines, but after a pipeline is approved, the commission has limited authority for crude oil lines.

"Once we find what caused this leak, it will become a whole new line of questioning in our new hearing and I think the second piece in this is that the state should look at maybe the PSC should have a larger role in looking into these types of transmission lines," says Commissioner Brian Kalk.

Kalk says that he has had a difficult time reaching out to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration due to the Government shutdown. He does however say that moving forward the findings of that administration could change the way the public service commission grants and monitors pipelines.

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