Public hearing planned to discuss pipeline route

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Public hearings to discuss the certificate of need and routing permit applications for the proposed 300 mile Minnesota Pipe Line Company crude oil pipeline began last month.

Hearings/meetings have been scheduled in 15 counties where the pipeline is proposed to be constructed. The counties where construction will take place are Clearwater, Hubbard, Wadena, Todd, Morrison, Stearns, Dakota, Scott, Rice, Wright, Meeker, McLeod, Sibley, Carver, and Ramsey. Administrative Law Judge Beverly Heydinger will preside over the hearings/meetings.

Nine miles of the pipeline are proposed to be constructed in northeastern Sibley County, in Washington Lake and Faxon Townships. Public hearings to consider the routing permit and the Certificate of Need will be held in Sibley County on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. at the Arlington Community Center.

Construction of the pipeline is scheduled to begin in May or June of 2007, with completion expected in November or December of 2007. The pipeline is expected to be operational in 2008.

The proposed 24 inch pipeline would cross 300 miles of the state and be part of the existing pipeline system that is owned by Minnesota Pipe Line Company and operated by Koch Pipeline Company.

The new pipeline would be the fourth one constructed. The previous pipelines were constructed in 1954, 1970’s, and 1980’s, and the company chose not to use the existing route because of the expansion of the metropolitan area. The new pipeline will end at the Marathon Petroleum Company’s St. Paul Park refinery.

In Sibley County, the proposed route would impact five county roads – 6, 60, 5, 61, and 16, and three county ditches – 1, 57A, and 32A. Construction would also include the crossing of the Minnesota River at a boundary of Sibley and Scott County near Belle Plaine.

If the project proceeds, it is predicted that construction in Sibley County would take place in August or September 2007.

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