E&E News: Bakken pipeline rules split industry, landowners

Neil Benter got the call last August.

An oil company's pipeline had started leaking on his farmland outside Ambrose, N.D. It turned out the leak had been going on for days or weeks, spilling an estimated 4,260 barrels -- 178,900 gallons -- of salty wastewater. Nine months later, Benter is left to wonder how the leak happened and whether the salt will permanently sterilize part of the land.

"That pipeline wasn't even 2 years old," Benter said. "They've got to do a better job of putting these pipelines in."

By the end of the summer, Benter and other landowners will know how strictly the state plans to regulate pipeline construction in an effort to prevent similar leaks and spills.


The commission expects the cost to be negligible -- $523,100 across the whole industry -- since many of the requirements are already standard industry practice. It has ample authority to pass the regulations under both the 2015 pipeline safety bill and previous laws, Ritter said.

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