Planning board approves conditional use permit for Questar's pipeline project
|A map charts the path Questar's propsed 18-mile gas pipeline project will follow from the Soldier Creek area to the vicinty of Gordon Creek.|
Questar Pipeline approached the county planning board last week with a request for a conditional use permit for an 18-mile pipeline from the Soldier Creek Road area to the Gordon Creek vicinity.
The spring 2005 project will be one of the biggest in Carbon County in the last couple of years and will impact areas in the center of the county.
"The purpose of the line is to transport gas produced in Carbon County to our markets outside the area," explained Tim Blackham, a representative from Questar.
"The compressor stations for the line are in Indianola (Sanpete County) and at Peters Point in Duchesne County. We have secured most of the right of ways for the line and want to begin construction in April," continued the company representative.
However, there are concerns about where the pipeline will be installed in certain corridors, particularly when it comes to roads.
"My understanding is that you want to lay it down the middle of some roads," said Carbon Commissioner Mike Milovich, who sits on the planning board. "I'm not sure that is the best place. That isn't usually where they are."
But Blackham said there are a number of places in the state where high pressure pipelines are put in the middle of high traffic roads and that it isn't unusual. He cited one running along 3300 South in Salt Lake County as one site.
Milovich indicated he preferred that the company put the line in the barrow pit along side the road.
But Blackham said that layout often posed problems with other utilities. He also said the line will pose no hazards during road work operations.
"The line will be buried six feet under the road and I can't see that any kind of resurfacing operation could affect it," stated Blackham.
Much of the pipeline will run through a corridor that Questar already has in place so past construction experience will help with the project. One place the project will pass through is an area where Carbonville Road, the Union Pacific rail and Carbon Canal all line up with one another.
"We will do a directional bore there and maybe an open cut at the canal," said Blackham.
Boring through the ground is a major project. The distance between where the pipeline would have to enter and bore and the other side of the road, tracks and canals is quite a distance.
Board member Lynna Topolovec brought up several points she thought should be considered in granting any conditional use permits for the project.
"I have been concerned about the lack of tamping on a number of projects I have seen of late in the county," said Topolovec. "In some areas there has been a lot of settling that isn't being taken care of. I also want to be sure that re-vegetation takes place along this route as well."
Blackham explained that Questar is regulated and must get a 95 percent compaction rate before the company is through with a project.
According to Questar, the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requires at least a 70 percent re-establishment of vegetation along the path of the pipeline before the agency will sign off on a project.
Following the discussion, the board decided to approve the conditional use permit for the project.
Acting on an unrelated matter of business at the meeting, the planning board approved a conditional use permit for Speed-E-Crete that will be located at approximately 2750 South and 160 East.
The company will sell concrete to individuals in special trailers that can be taken to a work site and then returned.
In addition, county economic director Delynn Fielding attended the meeting to talk to the planning board about the situation with a new business that is moving into town. It is going to be housed in an existing warehouse building in the industrial park south of Four Mile Hill and the commission had put a stipulation on the owner that each business must secure a conditional use permit before it can move in.
"This is a call center that is expanding from Orem and if we have to wait until your next meeting to get a recommendation on a permit then will delay their opening here," said Fielding of the company that wishes to start operations sometime in March.
Fielding says that the new center will be an outbound center with an employment goal of 50-60 people. The commission agreed to set up a special meeting on Feb. 8 to take the matter under consideration so it can appear for approval at the first county commission meeting in March.