Even though the Sandpiper Pipeline is on hold, PSC continues inspection contract

Nov 6, 2017

Public Service Commissioners Brian Kroshus (I); chairman Randy Christmann; and Julie Fedorchak.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Even though the big Sandpiper Pipeline project has been put on indefinite hold – and may not be built – the North Dakota Public Service Commission is extending a “construction inspection” contract for the project.

The pipeline was to extend from the Bakken, across northern North Dakota  to Superior, Wisconsin – 161 miles in length.

A third party firm is hired to make sure construction work is done properly and to the specs set out in the siting permit.

But if the project is on hold, why is the contract being extended?

"They (the company) did some preliminary construction on the terminals," said PSC Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "That work has ceased.  And they won't complete those."

Fedorchak said there is some reclamation work to be done on those sites.

"They did remove some topsoil, subsoil and that type of thing," Fedorchak said.

North Dakota regulators approved the pipeline – but the project ran into opposition in northern Minnesota. A statement from the company – Enbridge – says the company is delaying the project until “market conditions support the need for additional pipeline infrastructure.”