The Dakota Access Pipeline, an oil route from North Dakota to Illinois that has inspired intense protests and legal battles, must shut down pending an environmental review and be emptied of oil by August 5th, a U.S. district court ruled last Monday.
Morgan and Scott County Road Engineer Matt Coultas says the 30 miles worth of road that the county had impacted by the installation of the pipeline back in 2015 and 2016 has been recouped in a payment from Energy Transfer, the company that owns the pipeline: “When it came through, it did effect 5 of our county highways in Morgan County and multiple other road district roads that were effected by it. The county highways that were effected were the Nortonville Road, Lindsey Lane, Winchester-Woodson Road, Prospect outside of Murrayville, as well as the Lynnville-Woodson Road. They did their install. We came back and negotiated repairs. We received our checks. We were made whole on our end of things at the county highway department. Then, we were able the next year to go back and do some of the repair work with some of the funds we received from Dakota Access.”
The county had officially signed a road usage agreement back in December 2015. The pipeline has pumped about 560,000 barrels of oil through Morgan, Scott, Brown and Pike counties every day on average since becoming operational in 2017, according to the Associated Press. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ordered a new assessment of the pipeline be conducted and that all oil in the pipeline cease within the next 30 days.
Coultas said that all settlements with the road districts had been completed in both Morgan and Scott Counties. Prior to the order, there were talks to double the pipeline’s capacity in Illinois. The oil companies filed a petition for upgrades with the Illinois Commerce Commission seeking authorization to build a new pump station in Hancock County, north of Quincy, and replace and add pumps at the oil tank complex in Patoka, about 80 miles east of St. Louis.