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PSC won't ask for more documentation in DAPL expansion case

The North Dakota Public Service Commission will not be asking for more documentation from the company proposing to more than double the capacity of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Energy Transfer wants to add compressors to raise the capacity from 500,000 barrels a day to 1.1 million barrels a day. It would build those compressors near Linton.

The Standing Rock Tribe was granted intervener status in the case – because the pipeline crosses its land, as well as Lake Oahe. In its brief, it asked the PSC to get more information from the company. But during a Commission work session on the case, PSC Chairman Brian Kroshus said there are multiple regulatory agencies – state and federal – that have jurisdiction over the pipeline.

"It's important that we stay in our own lane, from a regulatory standpoint," Kroshus said. "I think the impression that may be given at times is that we're not looking at these things."

Kroshus said the PSC does make sure the issues are being looked at by the appropriate agencies, such as the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the state Water Commission.

"That analysis is thorough, because they have the experts in that respective area," Kroshus said.

Attorney Tim Purdon represents the interveners. He told reporters other states’ regulators – Iowa and Illinois – have requested further information.

"They (the PSC) have the power to request these documents, and then allow for independent or staff analysis, and get the input from the experts the Tribe has retained," Purdon said.

Purdon said you didn't hear anything about the Tribe's experts not being credible.

"The experts the Tribe has brought forward are nationally recognized pipeline safety experts," Purdon said. "They've flagged potential areas of concern. And they suggested they would like to see additional documents. That's all we're asking."

PSC legal staff are working on a potential order in the case. The Commission said it will likely hold another work session to look at the proposed order.

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