Construction on new Dakota Access pipeline pump stations begins this week

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Construction on a new pump station to help push more oil through the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota is scheduled to begin this week.

The Energy Transfer project will be built about 5 miles west of Linton, North Dakota in Emmons County. The project was approved in February after a hearing in which experts testified about the safety of expanding the pipeline’s capacity and members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe spoke out against the plans.

Initial work at the site will involve surveying, installing environmental controls, moving dirt and pouring concrete, according to Energy Transfer spokeswoman Vicki Granado. She said in an email that similar construction work is beginning on a pump station in South Dakota.

The pipeline company wants to nearly double the amount of oil that can flow through the line, from 570,000 barrels per day to 1.1 million barrels per day. The plan is to build pump stations in North Dakota, South Dakota and Illinois and add additional horsepower to several existing stations.

The Illinois Commerce Commission has not made a decision on the company’s expansion plans.

The North Dakota project comes as U.S. District Judge James Boasberg weighs another request by Standing Rock and other tribes fighting the pipeline to halt its operations. The judge issued a ruling in July requiring the pipeline to shut down for the duration of a lengthy environmental review he ordered earlier in the year, but the shutdown was reversed by a higher court.