Cities, counties ask more data on pipeline
by Jeff Switzer, staff reporter
Olympic Pipe Line Company will be reporting back to the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) on Dec. 9 to discuss its progress on ironing out dealings with the cities and counties through which its proposed petroleum pipeline would run.
Last week, EFSEC postponed its decision on whether the proposed Cross-Cascades pipeline was consistent with land-use regulations of those local jurisdictions.
The decision comes as a result of multiple hearings held by EFSEC in areas where the pipeline will be built, with representatives from local jurisdictions requesting more time and information regarding the pipeline's location and conditions.
"Postponing would allow the applicant and local jurisdictions to work on resolving land-use issues," said Allen Fiksdal, staffmember for EFSEC. "The process has not come to a stop; the action was to postpone the decision on whether the land-use was consistent with the proposal."
The EFSEC quasi-judicial review process will continue through the summer, and a pre-hearing conference is planned for June 24, when the council is expected to grant intervenor status to interested parties for the review. Petitions for intervenor status will be accepted until June 7. According to Fiksdal, the draft environmental impact statement is expected in late fall or early winter.
Where the pipeline will be constructed
The proposed 227-mile pipeline would start north of Woodinville, connecting to Olympic's existing 400-mile north-south pipeline, which has been operating for 30 years. The pipeline would travel east through Snohomish County and then southeast through King County through the Snoqualmie Valley, North Bend, and Ellensburg to Pasco.
The proposed $105 million underground pipeline could commence construction in November 1997 and would take one year to build. The 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, pumping approximately 2.5 million gallons to Eastern Washington each day.
Olympic's project has to undergo a national and state environmental impact (NEPA/SEPA) process, which could take 12 to 18 months. In addition to getting approval from EFSEC, the project proposal would finally cross the Governor's desk in Olympia.