— Official News Release, Governor Dalrymple —
Gov. Jack Dalrymple today signed into law House Bill 1358, legislation that will strengthen the state’s regulatory oversight of gathering pipelines for produced water and crude oil. The bill includes enhancements for the prevention and detection of pipeline leaks and expands the state’s remediation and restoration program for land and water resources impacted by oil and gas development.
“This legislation builds on our ongoing work to enhance pipeline safety in North Dakota,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. “With this bill’s passage, North Dakota will require significantly more from pipeline builders and operators. At the same time, the state has significantly expanded its pipeline reclamation fund so that we can also resolve land and water restoration needs that are more than 30 years old.”
House Bill 1358 authorizes the North Dakota Industrial Commission to develop new rules involving the construction and operation of gathering pipelines. The bill includes $1.5 million to complete a study regarding construction standards and monitoring systems for gathering lines, which will guide the Industrial Commission’s consideration of new administrative rules. The study, to begin July 1, 2015, will be conducted by the University of North Dakota’s Energy and Environmental Research Center.
The bill also expands the state’s commitment to reclaim and restore land and water resources impacted by oil and gas development. With the governor’s signature today, an additional $1.5 million in state funding is available to reclaim private and public land and water resources adversely impacted by oil and gas development prior to Aug. 1, 1983.
Other pipeline safety enhancements in House Bill 1358 include:
- Operators of gathering pipelines are required to submit the results of independent pipeline inspections.
- Pipeline operators are required to provide the Industrial Commission with engineering specifications and drawings for all gathering pipelines.
- Pipeline operators must develop a plan for pipeline monitoring and leak detection.
On April 13, Dalrymple signed Senate Bill 2271, establishing a pilot program to assist landowners with unresolved pipeline restoration projects. The program, to be administered by the Department of Agriculture, will provide landowners with technical assistance.