Northwest NEWS

February 8, 1999


Pipeline controversy is a thorny subject

   I am addressing a thorny subject about a controversial proposal to build a new pipeline over the Cascades, proposed by the Olympic Pipe Line Co.

   The Energy Facility Site Council in the process of conducting a series of hearings on the proposal has sought guidance from the counties affected by this pipeline before making its decision and sending a recommendation to Governor Locke. This is a regional issue, and five counties have expressed serious reservations regarding the building of this pipeline.

   To begin with, there is nothing given about the impacts that will cause irreparable damage to aquifers, streams, rivers, or the environment. Along with this, they also pose the question of economic harm that could result from this action.

   The Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Ecology declared that the DEIS is inadequate. Portions of the DEIS are flawed, based on the assumption that the pipeline will never fail. Pipelines leak. Yet, a portion of this pipeline poses a threat as it passes over the Cross Valley aquifer. This certainly is a great concern of the people living in and around the Maltby area.

   Why is Olympic Pipe Line Co. in such a big hurry to gain approval from a single County Council, when the six remaining counties in the pipeline's proposed corridor have not given their blessings to this proposal?

   In conclusion, in making the "Fair Assessment" after all facts have been bared and are known, is this pipeline really needed, and does it make good sense for our regions and our state to accept this proposed pipe line project? People should be made more aware of the risks that a proposal of this nature carries.

George W. Alishokis, PE, via e-mail