Family agrees to have pipeline run near house
State Capitol Bureau BISMARCK - A Valley City area family has agreed to allow the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline to run just 425 feet from their residence, the North Dakota Public Service Commission said Wednesday. The agreement removes a remainin...
State Capitol Bureau
BISMARCK - A Valley City area family has agreed to allow the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline to run just 425 feet from their residence, the North Dakota Public Service Commission said Wednesday.
The agreement removes a remaining obstacle to building of the pipeline this summer.
Albert K. Wittenberg and Gloria J. Wittenberg signed the waiver Jan. 25 and it was filed at the Public Service Commission on Tuesday. Albert K. Wittenberg signed it as someone with power of attorney for his father, Albert H. Wittenberg.
The line is to be located across a county road from their residence and does not actually cross the Wittenbergs' land.
The 30-inch crude oil pipeline will bring Canadian crude oil from northern Alberta through eastern North Dakota on its way to Illinois refineries. It will enter the state near Walhalla and exit near Cogswell.
Regulations say pipelines normally are to be at least 500 feet away from residences. But, as Commissioner Kevin Cramer explained, there were obstacles to Keystone moving the line either east or west to avoid the Wittenberg's home. Moving it east puts the line in the actual land of the Wittenbergs and also affects more landowners. Moving it west requires it to cross a pond, Cramer said.
Cramer and the other commissioners said they don't know whether the Wittenbergs received financial consideration for signing the waiver. Whether they received payment is not any of the board's business, commissioners said.
The PSC on Wednesday formally accepted the Wittenbergs' waiver and issued a public notice that it will consider the waiver as part of its decision about a route permit, even though it is not part of the official hearing record previously collected. Anyone who objects has 10 days to notify the commission.
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