BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – A public information meeting about the anhydrous ammonia pipeline being proposed for Lee County is set for Tuesday night in West Point.
The venue will be Small Grand Things located at 1903 West Point Road, just south of West Point, at 6 p.m.
Lee County Supervisors Ron Fedler, Rich Harlow, and Matt Pflug plan to attend the meeting put on by NuStart with landowners.
“The pipeline company, NuStar, is going to have a meeting with landowners on the pipeline, which they are required by law to do, and I want to make sure I’m there to find out what’s going on,” Fedler said.
Fedler said he’s been making contacts with his son in North Dakota who worked for Chippewa Resources who served as the county’s inspector when the Dakota Pipeline was built in the county.
He said the county needs to hire an expert in this case, as well, due to the high pressure of the proposed pipeline as well as the hazardous material being pumped.
“This is hazardous material and the other thing is high pressure and they’re talking 1,400 pounds per square inch. Compare that to a car tire that is 35 and a semi with 90 psi and you get a comparison of what kind of pressure that is,” Fedler said.
“That’s where these lines take really skilled people that know how to weld these pipes together so they can take that kind of pressure. Neither the fertilizer company nor the pipeline want to not do it right, but somebody’s got to watch the contractor.”
He said the pipeline company will have its own specialist on the project as well. Fedler said typically the cost of those inspectors is absorbed by the pipeline company, and he said that process went smoothly for the county when Dakota came to the county.
“It’s really important to protect landowners and put it in writing so they don’t have any problems. I couldn’t believe it. That’s high, high pressure,” Fedler said.
Lee County Engineer Ben Hull said the pipeline would be a 6-inch pipeline that would loop around Fort Madison coming out of the fertilizer plant. According to information provided to the board, the pipeline will have a maximum allowable operating pressure of 1,480 pounds per square inch.
NuStar Pipeline Operating Partnership L.P. out of San Antonio, Texas, is proposing to build the 14.5 mile pipeline around Fort Madison in the county. The pipeline would be built along a corridor north of the Hwy. 61 bypass and would run west through the county and then south from about Chalk Ridge Road west of Fort Madison to the BNSF railroad tracks near the Mississippi River.