Bipartisan efforts result in pipeline protection bill

Sen. John Warner, D-Ryder, and Rep. Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks, welcomed the news that Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, and Rep. Bert Anderson, R-Crosby, joined a bipartisan effort to provide protections against the oil and saltwater spills that have become all too common. Senate Bill 2374 requires safeguards in the siting and placement of gas and liquid pipelines. The bill comes on the heels of one of the largest brine spills in North Dakota history.
“This is a bipartisan, common-sense solution addressing oil and saltwater spills that are damaging the land upon which we depend,” Mock said. “For too long we’ve allowed pipelines to crisscross our state with minimal safeguards for landowners who work, raise families, and make a living in the heart of North Dakota’s energy development. In addition to requiring flow meters and pressure cutoff switches, the pipeline protection bill also requires pipelines to be designed by a certified engineer, helping to ensure that we keep our families safe and secure.”
A bond must be put on all oil wells, but pipeline operators, however, are not currently required to put those assurances in place.
“It is unacceptable that saltwater pipeline operators are not required to bond these projects,” said Warner. “When three million gallons of toxic saltwater brine spoils our land, we shouldn’t be left asking whether pipeline operators have the resources to clean up their mess. The pipeline protection bill will assure concerned North Dakotans that when a tragedy like this occurs, those protections are in place.”

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