State agencies preparing to submit comments on the Environmental Impact Statement on the Dakota Access Pipeline
North Dakota state agencies are working on quantifying the potential effects of the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The US Army Corps of Engineers has set a December 13th deadline for comments on the proposed environmental impact statement.
State officials argue shutting the pipeline down would throttle oil and gas development, as well as hurt other sectors of the state’s economy. Speaking at a state Industrial Commission meeting, state Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said the pipeline shutdown will also affect the state Mill and Elevator in Grand Forks, which had some impacts from oil development before the pipeline was built.
"When all of the crude oil got on the rail, how many times they (the mill) were not able to get rail cars to bring in grain or to ship out flour," Helms said. "We were able to look back at the 2014-2015 era, pre-DAPL, and see what the impact would be on the Mill and Elevator. It's very substantial."
Gov. Doug Burgum chairs the Industrial Commission. He said keeping the pipeline in service is a “whole of government” approach to what he called an “unprecedented” action.
"There's never been an effort to try to do an EIS process on an existing piece of infrastructure in our country that is legally operating, and operating safely," Burgum said.
Agencies are putting their final touches on the comments.