South Dakota landowners recently gave their opinions on the Dakota Access Pipeline to the Aberdeen News which gained some traction in national oil press.
One landowner, Perry Schmidt from Spink County said that the project would “free up transportation for grain” and that pipelines are “the safest way to transport oil.” Schmidt also expressed confidence in the safety of the pipeline. “I’m not too worried about crude oil leaking into my land,” Schmidt said. “The valve is just north of me on my mother’s land. It’ll be a permanent easement above ground.”
Additionally, Energy Transfer has been working with local residents and jurisdictions to address concerns regarding drinking water supplies in the southeastern part of South Dakota. Dakota Access Vice President for Engineering Joey Mahmoud said “we are working with the water districts to lower and move their pipes and to actually case those pipes to add added mitigation and protection just to ensure that if there was a situation, that we would not contaminate the water supply.” He stated the company would go above and beyond current requirements to prevent drinking water from being affected by a spill or crude oil within the pipes.
Dakota Access Pipeline representatives have repeatedly committed to meeting or exceeding safety standards as well as mitigating environmental impacts throughout the course of public hearings in South Dakota, as well as other states along the proposed route.
Commitment to the safe transportation of energy resources is paramount to building a good relationship with the communities where pipelines operate. Dakota Access has indeed shown that commitment throughout the course of multiple public hearings, addressing rural and urban concerns alike. Because of the commitment to safety, many in South Dakota agree that constructing the pipeline will provide many benefits to South Dakota, including alleviating the rail congestion that has plagued the state since the start of the Bakken oil boom.
The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission decision to issue a permit for the pipeline is due by Dec. 15, but the commission has announced it will make a decision at a special meeting on Nov. 30.