Several meetings are taking place along the route. There were meetings in Inwood, Sioux Center, and Sheldon this week.
We talked to Iowa Utilities Board Spokesman Rob Hillesland at the meeting at the Sheldon Community Services Center. He says that these meetings needed to be held before the company could talk to landowners to negotiate easements. He was at all three meetings in our area, and tells what concerns people brought forth.
Hillesland tells us about the Iowa Utilities Board’s role in the process.
According to Energy Transfer Partners, the company proposing the pipeline, it will be a 30-inch pipeline that will connect up with an existing pipeline in the St. Louis area. From there the crude will be transported to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast. They say that 344 of the pipeline’s 1100 mile route will be in Iowa, entering near Inwood, and exiting near Fort Madison.
Although we previously reported that the pipeline would carry “at least 320,000 barrels of oil” per day, the information presented at the Sheldon meeting indicated that the pipeline would carry closer to 570,000 barrels per day.
Energy Transfer Partners’ Adam Broad says that the pipeline will be tested with water at 25 percent over maximum operating pressure. He says where possible, they will co-locate the pipeline with other pipelines, road rights-of-way and so forth.
Broad stated that while the pipeline is an economic benefit for the company, it also will free up railroad space to be used to transport agriculture products. He says that currently the transportation of Baaken crude via railroad is slowing down the railroads.
He says the pipeline will be buried at a minimum depth of 36 inches, and will be buried at a depth of at least 48 inches in ag land. Some sections of the pipeline will have 0.429-inch walls, and some will have 0.625-inch walls.
Construction of the pipeline, if it is approved, is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2016, and Broad says they will use union labor. He says there will also be long-term employment available at the pipeline’s field offices and at the pump station which is planned to be in Story County.
He says they will know the final route of the pipeline after surveys are completed. He says safety is their utmost concern.
Find out more about the pipeline at www.energytransfer.com.
You can find a link to the laws and rules that would apply to the process on the Iowa Utilities Board web site at www.state.ia.us/iub.