Throughout the lengthy and exhaustive approval process for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, representatives of the men and women who would be put to work on the project repeatedly stated their intention to build the pipeline with safety as the top priority. This week, Supervisors from Lee County, Iowa decided to see firsthand just how the construction of the pipeline would look. Their visit was covered by a reporter at The Hawkeye and described what they saw.
Board chairman Ron Fedler, Matt Pflug, Gary Folluo and Rick Larkin were given a rare glimpse at the progress of the pipeline, which nearly splits Lee County in half, from it’s northwest corner at the Van Buren county line, south of Montrose along the Mississippi River.
The pipeline enters Lee County west of Donnellson, then cuts 30 miles across the county before crossing the Mississippi River into Hancock County, Ill. In total, the 1,168-mile Dakota Access pipeline will run from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to an oil refining hub in Patoka, Ill., transporting crude oil through a 30-inch underground pipeline.
“It blows my mind how they put this all together,” Pflug remarked as they gathered along the riverbank before heading to the site of the Mississippi River bore.
The article went into detail about the steps taken to ensure safety at the drilling site.
Michels, the horizontal drilling company employed by the project’s contractor, Precision Pipeline, keeps between seven and 10 laborers, operators, teamsters and drillers on-hand about 10 hours per day working on the bore.
“These guys really take a lot of care in what they do,” Weaver said. “I mean, there’s a lot riding on a job like this, right here. We have to make sure that we do it right.”
For the men and women in the oil pipeline industry, it’s “all about the integrity of the pipe.”
Once completed, the pipeline will carry Dakota oil to a refinery in Illinois, and significantly boosts the energy security of the Midwest as well as the nation.