Former PHMSA Administrator: Pipeline Exceeds Requirements

In an article recently published by the Williston Herald, Brigham McCown, former Administration for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA), states that he cannot recall a case where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ever withdrew permits that were validly issued, and he believes any decision to do so should give others pause.

Mr. McCown said on a recent visit to North Dakota, “taking a look at this project and the engineering analysis and I’d like to say based on that review and also visiting with folks on the site today, I am confident that this pipeline is being put in the ground correctly,” McCown said. “It is above what my former agency required, too. In many cases it is well above minimum safety standards.”

He also points out that the Dakota Access pipeline parallels the Northern Border Pipeline, which also runs deep beneath the riverbed at Lake Oahe. The route selected for the Dakota Access Pipeline was meant to parallel this line to ensure that little chance remained for an un-surveyed cultural or archaeological site to be encountered on the route.

But according to Mr. McCown little facts remain in the ongoing debate on the validity of Dakota Access’ already approved construction permits, “The debate right now has nothing to do with the safety of the line itself or its properties[…]In the name of the environment, people are out there undermining environmental safety by opposing these pipelines.”