N. Utah pipeline-extension project raises worries

Published June 8, 2009 11:23 pm
Two proposals » One route would go mostly through forested land, the other along a Bountiful/North Salt Lake street.
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Proposed alignments for a gas pipeline's 28-mile expansion could tear up a major street in two south Davis County cities or dig into dedicated open space at Salt Lake City's north end.

The Kern River Gas Transmission Company has proposed two routes for an expansion of its 1,680-mile, Wyoming-to-California pipeline: The preferred path roughly follows the existing pipeline and would mostly travel through Forest Service land; the alternative would travel through an east-side street running from Bountiful to North Salt Lake.

And that preferred route includes a possible deviation into open space in Salt Lake City -- land dedicated to open space as part of a 2007 agreement between North Salt Lake and Salt Lake City. Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City had purchased the roughly 57 acres from North Salt Lake for $3.5 million -- money from an open-space bond.

"That area right there is the last remaining section of the Bonneville Shoreline that has not been developed; it's unique geologic ground," said Ben McAdams, a senior advisor to Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.

So, the two cities want the pipeline to follow the county boundary, along the existing pipeline route. However, North Salt Lake officials also worry about pipes too far east of the Davis-Salt Lake county line that could affect current and future housing developments.

"Our preference at this point -- we realize we can't stop it; it's going to happen -- is we put it in a spot less disruptive to homes," said North Salt Lake City Manager Collin Wood.

But the alignment that gives Bountiful and North Salt Lake the most heartburn would lay pipes under Eagle Ridge Drive, which becomes Bountiful Boulevard up north and is a major north-south road.

Laying a 3-foot-wide pipe could cause a damage to the storm, sewer, cable, water, power and telephone lines, said Bountiful City Manager Tom Hardy, who doesn't believe this route will be selected.

Douglas Gibbons, Kern River's project manager, said the company has made slight route adjustments based on talks with various city officials and landowners.

"We're going to continue to work with people throughout this entire process," he said, adding Kern River will likely settle on a final route this fall. Then, the proposal goes before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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Public-comment sessions

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which can accept or deny the Kern River pipeline expansion, is hosting two meetings to receive public input on the project. The public-comment period ends June 15.

Tuesday's meeting will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Bountiful High School auditorium, 695 S. Orchard Drive, Bountiful.

A meeting Wednesday is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at the Morgan County Courthouse auditorium, 48 W. Young St., Morgan.



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