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Draft environmental assessment for construction of crude oil pipeline in Williams and McKenzie counties, including under Lake Sakakawea, N.D., available for public comment

Published Dec. 4, 2015

OMAHA, NE - A draft environmental assessment for a proposal to construct a crude oil pipeline, of which 2.8 miles would be below Lake Sakakawea on Garrison Project lands managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is currently available for review.

BakkenLink Pipeline LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Great Northern Midstream LLC, is proposing to construct approximately 37 miles of 16-inch-diameter steel pipeline for the transportation of crude oil from three receipt facilities, including one existing facility (Dry Creek Terminal located in McKenzie County) and two proposed facilities (Keene Terminal in McKenzie County and Beaver Lodge Terminal in Williams County). The new pipeline would have bi-directional capability and would transport crude oil between an existing Beaver Lodge receipt facility on the north end of the project and the existing Dry Creek Terminal on the south end of the project.

In total, approximately 2.8 miles of the 37-mile pipeline alignment would be jet trenched on the bed of Lake Sakakawea, which is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The remaining alignment is proposed on private land (28.9 miles), State of North Dakota-owned lands (3.1 miles), and U.S. Forest Service land (2.4 miles).

On Corps-managed land, the proposed pipeline would be buried in a four-foot deep trench below the bed of Lake Sakakawea. Installation of the pipeline at the lake crossing would include stringing, welding and testing the pipeline for leaks in the uplands prior to placing the pipeline across the lake and then laid in a trench within the lakebed. BakkenLink is proposing to use jet trenching, a technique accomplished with a custom-made sled pulled over the lake bed with a cable, to dig the trench and install the pipeline in a single operation. After the pipe is laid, the lake bed sediment will be returned to the trench as much as possible. Numerous spill prevention and emergency response measures are detailed in the EA. A link that generally describes these measures is provided here at http://bakkenlink.com/brochure.pdf.

All interested parties who may have concerns are encouraged to provide comments on the draft EA, which is available for viewing at: http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Planning/ProjectReports.aspx.

A copy of the draft EA is also available at the Williston Community Library, 1302 Davidson Drive, Williston, ND 58801 and the New Town City Library, 103 Soo Pl, New Town, ND 58763.

Comments may be directed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District; CENWO-PM-AC; Attn: John Shelman; 1616 Capitol Avenue; Omaha, NE 68102. Comments can also be emailed to johnathan.a.shelman@usace.army.mil

For planning purposes, comments must be postmarked or received no later than December 20, 2015.

John Shelman
Eileen Williamson

Release no. 20151204-001