Sacagawea Pipeline faces investigations, court battle (Fargo Forum)

Sacagawea Boyd Forum Photo 8-28-16.jpg

The Fargo Forum reports on the growing controversy surrounding the Sacagawea Pipeline, which now faces a court dispute as well as federal, state, and tribal investigations over allegations of substandard construction and environmental work, including statements by former employees of contractor Boyd & Co. indicating that a two-mile pipeline under Lake Sakakawea was never properly inspected.  From the Forum: 

NEW TOWN, N.D. — Construction has resumed on a pipeline that will cross a water body over the objections of a North Dakota Native American tribe.

No, it's not the Dakota Access Pipeline. This project involves Paradigm Energy Partners, a company that is installing two pipelines under Lake Sakakawea that will be owned by Sacagawea Pipeline Co.


A former laborer on the pipeline alleges that the contractor, Boyd & Co., failed to properly inspect the pipeline before it was installed under the lake, putting the lake at risk of a spill. Two other former workers have reported similar concerns to federal and state regulators.

The owner of Boyd & Co. told Forum News Service the pipeline was properly inspected and he says the claims are false accusations made by workers who were fired.

Public Service Commission Chairwoman Julie Fedorchak said the state agency has forwarded those reports to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which has jurisdiction in that area.

"We're certainly going to look at what PHMSA says, but they're the authority on those regulations and determining if there's a violation of them," Fedorchak said.

PHMSA has confirmed it's investigating the claims, but the status of the investigation is unclear.

Meanwhile, Phillips 66 has told investors the Sacagawea Pipeline is expected to be operational by Sept. 30.

The PSC is investigating concerns from the Laborers Union about construction practices on the oil pipeline the union says did not properly protect wetlands, prevent erosion or protect the pipeline coating from becoming damaged.

In addition, PSC inspectors who have visited the oil pipeline construction have raised concerns about poor topsoil separation on the project, a step that is important to successfully restoring the land.

 Read the full story here.