Dakota Access expansion also needs approval in other states
LINTON, N.D. — Even if Energy Transfer gets approval from North Dakota's Public Service Commission to expand the Dakota Access Pipeline, it still needs approvals from regulators in other states that the 1,200-mile pipeline crosses.
The company is proposing to build a new pump station in Illinois. It also wants to build one on another pipeline that connects Dakota Access to refining areas in Texas. The Illinois Commerce Commission has scheduled a hearing on the matter in December.
Although Energy Transfer does not propose building a pump station in Iowa, it plans to add horsepower at an existing facility there.
The Iowa Utility Board has ordered the company to secure an amendment to the permit it received to construct the pipeline in 2016 on grounds that the line was permitted to carry 570,000 barrels of oil per day, not 1.1 million. The board has asked Energy Transfer to file information on whether the expansion would increase the risk of a spill, the impact of transporting a higher amount of oil on pipeline valves and a central control center, and additional training the company would give first responders along the route of the line.
Energy Transfer also plans to build a pump station in Lincoln County in southeastern South Dakota.
The state Public Utility Commission is not requiring Energy Transfer to obtain a new permit. The application the company filed with the state in 2014 to build the line stated that its anticipated capacity would be 570,000 barrels per day “or more,” according to a commission attorney. Energy Transfer has already secured a permit from the county.
In North Dakota, Emmons County commissioners approved a permit for the pump station in August. And Energy Transfer secured an amendment to a McKenzie County permit in July to make upgrades at an existing pump station there.
The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration says the pipeline expansion would not require approval from the agency if it continues to operate within its maximum allowable operating pressure, as Energy Transfer is planning.