As we all know, the Dakota Access Pipeline is very safe. The company’s website even says so.
The very safe pipeline was originally routed near Bismarck, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected it “partly because of drinking water contamination concerns.” The pipeline, which is almost finished, was re-routed just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
Funny how that works.
This week, we received new evidence showing just how safe this pipeline will be.
Summit Mainstream Partners, a pipeline company that spilled 3 million gallons of contaminated water in North Dakota last year, is requesting permission to connect with Dakota Access.
Summit is responsible for the largest pipeline spill in North Dakota history: 70,000 barrels of saltwater — the kind used in oil extraction, which typically contains “chloride, ammonia and other contaminants,” according to the Dickinson Press, which covered the spill when it was discovered in January 2015.
The spill took more than three months for the company to notice, according to the North Dakota Industrial Commission. It contaminated the Little Muddy River and the Missouri River.
“The highest chloride concentration the health department found was nearly 92,000 milligrams per liter, in Blacktail Creek close to the pipeline break,” the Dickinson Press reported. A state health official told the paper “normal levels of chloride are between 10 and 20 milligrams per liter.”
Almost two years later, the spill is still under investigation and cleanup “is ongoing,” the Fargo Forum reports.
Meanwhile, Summit appeared before state regulators on Tuesday seeking approval to build a new pipeline that could deliver 70,000 barrels of oil per day to a Dakota Access connection point near Epping.
Summit officials boasted about new safety procedures, including a new “policy for hiring responsible contractors and requiring best practices,” the Forum reports.
Hiring responsible contractors? Why the fuck weren’t you doing that before?
Turns out, this fabulous new policy wouldn’t even apply to this project.
Why? “Because it is a smaller project and doesn’t meet a cost threshold in the policy,” the Forum reports. “However, there is an expectation that the company comply with the spirit of the new policy.”
A company which is still under investigation for the largest spill in state history, and which has a new safety policy that doesn’t always apply, is asking to connect with another pipeline that was too unsafe to be routed near the state capital.
Since this is North Dakota, we’re sure the project will be approved.