ND PSC holds public hearing for additional pipeline to provide oil to Epping gathering facility

Published: Nov. 22, 2016 at 5:15 PM CST
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Despite Dakota Access protests, new pipeline applications are still coming across the Public Service Commission's desks. Tuesday, they held a hearing in Williston to get public input about a potential pipeline.

As time goes on, the PSC is making fewer trips to the Bakken.

"A lot of the infrastructure needed to serve this industry has been constructed and is in place," says Julie Fedorchak, ND PSC Chairman.

But Tuesday they listened to a proposal for a new pipeline that would connect an Epping Transmission Company site to the Dakota Access Epping gathering facility.

"Well, generally this pipeline is straightforward. It connects a number of existing resources, it helps get trucks off the roads," says Fedorchak.

While the line isn't long, there was a long deliberation Tuesday between the company and the PSC.

"One big negative that I don't like is that they want to construct during the winter. And that's just not something that we think is the best practice. It's something we try to avoid," says Fedorchak.

Epping Transmission's parent company, Summit Midstream also has a history of line breaks. Their salt water line leaked 75,000 barrels of brine into the Blacktail Creek in 2015, but the PSC says that incident isn't a deal breaker.

"That was a different product, so that was produced water, so that's a different type of pipeline, and the monitoring systems are slightly different for that as well," says Fedorchak.

A representative from the Labors' International Unions of North America spoke up in favor of the project.

"People learn from their mistakes. I would like to say we do support this project. They have adopted responsible contractor policy, they are taking a step in the right direction in our eyes, and we are looking forward to this project being a success," says Evan Whiteford, Labors' international Unions of North America

When constructed, the line will bring an average of 30,000 barrels of Bakken Crude to Dakota Access.

Epping Transmission did say they are waiting to see what happens with the Dakota Access protests before beginning construction.