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Dunn County commissioners make landowner rights top priority in pipeline talks

On Wednesday, Dunn County commissioners met with representatives of Texas-based Energy Transfer to cautiously discuss landowner relations as they move forward with their new pipeline project.

The Dickinson Press reported that the pipeline project is valued at $3.7 billion. The Dakota Access Pipeline, or colloquially called the Bakken Pipeline, will have the capability of transferring 570,000 barrels per day from the Williston Basin.

The main portion of the pipeline will stretch 992 miles from Stanley to Patoka, Illinois. Aside from the 203 mile section in North Dakota, the project will include 142 miles of gathering lines around northwestern North Dakota.

Energy Transfer has held open houses in various locations in the Williston Basin as an avenue to exchange dialogue. Stops were made in Killdeer on Tuesday, New Town on Wednesday and will hold another event in Watford City on Thursday.

Distrustful from past experience, commissioners laid questions on thick with many covering the topic of land reclamation. Engineering Director Mark Bullock said Energy Transfer isn’t like other operators that may have scarred the county, and assured commissioners that good landowner relations are part of the company’s values.

However, the commissioners claimed that they hear that from every company, and to earn their trust, they wanted to see direct action.

“Having your subcontractors of subcontractors being responsible for damages and being honorable to the landowners is very important,” Commissioner Daryl Dukart said, “because one or two screw-ups and it’ll haunt you.”

The Dakota Access Pipeline will cross over seven counties and most notably, the gathering lines will wind from Stanley around to Epping, Trenton, Williston, Watford City and Johnson Corner, where it will become a transmission line to the Illinois hub. To read more quotes and information about the interaction between Dunn County commissioners and representatives of Energy Transfer, be sure to check out the original Dickinson Press article here.

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