As the IUB evidentiary hearing entered its second week of witness testimony, Chuck Frey, the VP of Engineering at Energy Transfer Partners, took the stand to inform the IUB of the safety and engineering criteria that Dakota Access Pipeline will use to build the line.
Mr. Frey shared that Dakota Access would be built to meet or exceed existing regulations and statutes to ensure that the pipeline serves as a benefit to the Midwest, in the way it was envisioned.
Dakota Access has voluntarily committed itself to building the pipeline in a way that maintains a degree of separation between pipe and drain tiles at 12 times the amount required by law. William Petroski from The Des Moines Register explains:
Dakota Access has promised that in Iowa farm fields, the pipeline will be buried by a minimum of 48 inches of dirt and crops can be planted on top. In addition, farm drainage tiles will be crossed with a minimum of 24 inches of separation between the pipe and the drain tile, which exceeds federal requirements, Frey said.
Mr. Frey also described the rigorous testing that all pipeline segments would have to go through before being operational. All segments are to be inspected at the mill in which they were made, and all welds will be x-ray tested. Pipeline segments will be pressure tested using water, at an operating pressure that significantly exceeds operating pressures – one and a quarter times the anticipated operating pressure. Stacey Gerard, formerly of PHSMA, testified last week that Dakota Access has opted to choose an operating pressure lower than the one usually prescribed to pipelines of that size.
Energy infrastructure projects should be constructed responsibly in order to bring maximum benefits to our region. The MAIN Coalition is encouraged by the commitment that Dakota Access has shown to the safety of Midwestern land and the people.