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October 10, 2012

Permit for gas pipeline raises concerns for commissioners

NORMAN — After much discussion Tuesday, Cleveland County commissioners rejected an application for a utility permit for the installation of a temporary gas pipeline on a county right of way.

The board had several oppositions that led to the rejection of the item, but afterward, the company, West Star Operating Company, was asked to submit a new application to better meet the county’s concerns.

Commissioner Rusty Sullivan was concerned that the temporary gas pipeline would be above-ground, which could be a safety issue. Sullivan said there could be problems if someone was mowing the area and accidentally hit the pipeline.

Commissioner George Skinner also added that it could be a safety issue when grading roads.

The pipeline would be in the southeastern part of the county coming from Pottowatomie County into Cleveland County. It would run east to west, crossing at the right of way on 192nd Street and Moffatt Road.

The three-inch pipeline also would be running through the county’s 24-inch culvert system, which is where drainage travels.

Commissioner Rod Cleveland said October is usually the wettest month in terms of rainfall, which could cause water to back up if there are any obstructions.

“Culverts aren’t made to be an interstate system,” Cleveland said.

Also, when water backs up, the county is liable, he said.

A representative from West Star Operating Company laid out several options for the county to consider to proceed with the pipeline. He said they could bury it and/or have the pipeline there for a shorter amount of time to see if a well in the area could produce.

The application stated that the temporary pipeline would be there for one year. The representative said the company can sometimes find information that will determine whether a well will produce from 30 to 90 days. If the well could produce, they would try to put a permanent pipeline in the same general area.

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