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Letter: Benefits of pipeline a complicated issue

Praise of economic benefits of the Sandpiper pipeline were recently promoted by local Hubbard County citizens in the Enterprise. This, however, is a more complicated issue than was presented.

The proposed Sandpiper pipeline is unlike the current pipelines we have in the county. This pipeline would be 30 inches in diameter and it would carry Bakken oil which is known to be highly explosive in nature and there are hundreds of chemicals used in it’s extraction. These chemicals contain carcinogens and we do not know how many of these chemicals remain in the oil product. It is also known that Enbridge pipelines have had hundreds of leaks and spills and there are problems with their pumping stations. We would have a pumping station south of Hubbard. Much of our soils in Hubbard county are porous sand and gravel. These soils are generally more permeable than other types of soils making our ground water more vulnerable to leaks and spills.

As far as economics are concerned, perhaps a large oil pipeline coming to our area which is noted for it’s pristine beauty and clear waters would not be an economic boom, especially if our area should experience a ruptured pipeline, spills or leaks that contaminate our waters. We cannot assure ourselves that nothing bad could happen. Did the citizens of Casselton think that they would experience a train derailment? Now, you better believe, people living in Detroit Lakes and Wadena have that on their mind.

Here are complications we will face if the pipeline is laid in Hubbard County: We will have a fuel which is highly explosive in the ground running near the west and south borders in our county. We will have to wonder if there is an undetected leak or rupture causing oil to be entering our ground water, streams or lakes. We will have to think about the hundreds of carcinogens that are used in the extraction process and wonder how many dangerous chemicals are in the oil that is going through our county and are those chemicals leaking into our water supply?

Are we assured by the methodology Enbridge said they use to monitor pipeline? Do we want a pipeline monitored in Edmonton by technicians, by fly overs of the pipelines twice a month, and Enbridge public awareness campaigns where property owners are asked to keep an eye out for leaks?

It is my personal belief that the beauty of nature we are so blessed to be surrounded by is something that should be looked upon with reverence, love and protection.

Deanna Johnson

Park Rapids