State labor unions endorse Cross Cascade petroleum pipeline
by Woodinville Weekly staff
The Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council announced last week their support for the Cross Cascade petroleum pipeline proposed by Olympic Pipe Line Company.
The Council, along with REBOUND (a program of the Seattle/King County Building and Trades Council) and Olympic Pipe Line Company, have signed an agreement verifying that 100 percent of the pipeline's construction will be performed by workers represented by AFL-CIO unions. The agreement covers pipeline, pump stations, the proposed storage and distribution facility at Kittitas, electrical construction work, and future maintenance.
According to Bob Dilger, executive director of the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council, the council will be working with Olympic Pipe Line Company through every step of the environmental review process.
"We need to be looking out into the future to forge these kinds of partnerships to ensure environmental integrity, as well as the economic well-being of Washington families," said Dilger.
Olympic Pipe Line Company submitted its application to the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) on Feb. 5 for its proposed 227-mile Cross Cascade pipeline, and if approved, will be the first underground petroleum pipeline to be built since Olympic's first one in 1965.
"Close to 1,000 people will be employed in constructing this $105 million pipeline project and thanks to our agreement today. They will be union workers," said Rick Berglund, president and CEO of the Trades Council.
The project, which would run from north of Bothell to Pasco, will have to undergo a national and state environmental impact (NEPA/SEPA) process, which could take 12 to 18 months.
The proposed pipeline would be a common carrier of petroleum products, meaning they will carry anyone's product from the Bellingham fuel refinery. As a common carrier, Olympic would have the power of "eminent domain," which means the Revised Code of Washington allows them to condemn the land for the pipeline and the greater good of the state. To construct the 227-mile pipeline, Olympic needs approximately 1600 acres, and would supposedly cross 15 acres of wetlands.
Construction on the proposed underground pipeline would begin in November 1997 and would take one year to build. The 12-inch to 14-inch plastic-coated steel pipe would lie three to four feet underground.
When completed, the pipeline would deliver motor gasoline, diesel fuel and aviation jet fuel from Western Washington refineries across the Cascades to Central and Eastern Washington. The Cross-Cascades Pipeline would pump approximately 2.5 million gallons to Eastern Washington per day and cost $105 million to construct.