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WJBD - Local News - Plans Laid Out For New Pipeline To Cross Marion County

Route of the proposed new crude oil pipeline from near Johnsonville to the Patoka Oil Tank Farm.

Interested property owners study plats on the proposed route of the new pipeline through Marion County at a Thursday night Open House on the project.

Plans Laid Out For New Pipeline To Cross Marion County

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The proposed new 40 mile pipeline that will diagonally cross Marion County from the Patoka Oil Tank Farm to near Johnsonville in northeast Wayne County would cost $220-million to $250-million dollars to build.  

About 50 people attended an open house to look at plans for the 30 inch pipeline at the Marion County Savings Bank Annex Thursday night.   The project is being proposed by Eastern Gulf Crude Access LLC Pipeline Project and would take crude oil from the Patoka Oil Tank Farms to the Louisiana Coast for Refining.  

The pipeline will mostly run along an existing pipeline on a route that will take it south of the Greendale Elevator, crossing U.S. 50 east of Iuka, and across the Omega and Bee Branch Roads.  It then travels just south of Brubaker and Alma before crossing I-57 and heading northeast to the tank farm.  

The new line will connect with an existing natural gas pipeline at Johnsonville that runs to Louisiana.  There will also be an extension to the line in Louisiana.  

Both construction projects are expected to employ 800 construction workers. Company Representative Vicki Granado says there would also be a few permanent jobs once the pipeline is complete based at an office the company will set up at the Patoka Oil Tank Farm.  

Granado stressed the safety procedures that will be followed to quickly find any problems on the pipeline.   "Every weld in the pipeline in the pipeline is ex-rayed.  We continue to use ex-ray equipment all along our pipelines to monitor the safety.  We also fly over all of our pipelines so that we can detect any change in the color of any vegetation along the pipeline.  We water pressure test our pipelines regularly and we also have control centers that are monitored 24 hours a day seven days a week," said Granado.  "If there are any issues or changes with pressures in our pipelines, we can take immediate action."  

Granado says they plan to file an application for approval of the line with the Illinois Commerce Commission in the next few weeks.  They are hoping for ICC certification on the project to move forward in the first quarter of 2014.  

Property easements 50 feet wide on both sides of the proposed pipeline would then have to be purchased.  Granado says while the company would have the right to use eminent domain, she expects the deeds to be completed through negotiations with the property owner.  

Construction is projected to begin next spring, with completion in the Spring of 2015.   

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