Construction Plan for Winter Conditions Made for Bakken Pipeline

Snowy road in Iowa, by Jsayre64 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Snowy road in Iowa, by Jsayre64 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Energy Transfer’s Dakota Access LLC has developed contingency plans to battle snow, ice, and sub-freezing temperatures, if necessary, during construction of the Bakken oil pipeline through Iowa.

Although Dakota Access LLC said earlier this year it planned to begin construction of the underground oil pipeline no later than May 17 in order to avoid possible harsh winter conditions during construction, the Iowa Utilities Board did not approve the work until June 6, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not approve necessary permits in Iowa until July 26.

Officials of Dakota Access said last week that they plan to move forward with construction in Iowa as quickly as possible so the line may be complete by the end of the year; however, the Iowa Utilities Board had already ordered them to develop plans for winter construction.

The winter plan discusses working conditions in cold weather and snow, including using equipment capable of accurately removing various depths of soil, suspending final cleanup activities if soil is frozen and cannot be evenly distributed, installing erosion control devices to stabilize soil and remaining soil stockpiles left over the winter, and backfilling trenches with unfrozen soil.

Lawyer for the Iowa chapter of the Sierra Club Wallace Taylor, who opposes the pipeline, said the winter construction plan appears too general and lacks detail.

The Des Moines Register