Northwest NEWS

February 15, 1999

Front Page

Council hears from pipeline proponents

   DUVALL--Olympic Pipe Line representatives told the City Council on January 28 that the proposed pipeline designed to run from Woodinville over the Cascade range to Pasco is the safest, most reliable, and cheapest way to ship petroleum.

   Claud Harshbager, project manager and Duvall resident, described the need for the new pipeline, saying two-thirds of all gas and diesel jet fuel consumed on the east side of the state is trucked from the west side of the state.

   "In 1996 alone, there were approximately 13,000 barrels a day trucked over Highway 2 and Highway 90, which amounts to about 50,000 trucks a year,'' he said.

   "Shipping fuel is not risk free," said Joan Hamick, Olympic Pipe Line representative. "Pipelines are the safest means of transporting fuels compared to trucks and barges, which are the current modes of shipping."

   Over the past 32 years, the lifetime of the current north-south pipeline, 44 spills occurred in total, and a large part of that fuel has been recovered, said Hamick.

   "Virtually all spills occurred before the latest technology detection system," she continued, saying spills "could not happen today without detection."

   Concerns of the pipeline crossing over existing aquifers were addressed by Harshbager, who stated that they are currently crossing aquifers in Snohomish County and have been for the past 32 years without incident.

   He described the company's interests being in the same place as those of the people of the Valley, saying it costs about one penny per gallon to transport petroleum in the pipeline and about $7,000 per gallon to clean up spills. "It is not in our best interest to clean it up off the ground," Harshbager said.

   But Carnation resident Cecelia Boulais said the effects of a pipeline laid near her family farm in the midwest 35 years ago are still evident. She said there is still a swatch where the original line went through, noisy pump stations run 24 hours a day, and the lighting on the rural pump stations can be seen for miles around.

   Laura Hartman, a Snohomish resident, told the council that the pipeline provides no benefit to this area and has no clear purpose. The demand for product has decreased at the end destination, with economic benefit to a few, she said. She stressed that once the pipeline is built, city officials will have no control.

   Duvall resident Jan Weeks also opposed the pipeline and said she hopes the City Council does everything it can to oppose it, also.

   The schedule for the pipeline construction, depending on approval of all processes and permits, is to begin in the spring of 2000 and take about one year.

   City Council members requested engineering diagrams of the proposed pipeline, which does not currently go through the city of Duvall, and will decide at their next meeting whether or not it is of interest to the citizens of Duvall to take a stand either way on the pipeline issue.

   In other council business, the council agreed to extend the closure of the artesian well at Taylor Landing until ULID #9 project is complete or to July 1, 1999, whichever is sooner. Water Commissioner Jeff Popp told the council that ULID #8 is complete and ULID # 9 is scheduled for completion near July. Only one property owner has approached Water District 119 with any ideas for a possible standpipe.