City weighs pipeline near airport open space

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Salt Lake City Council is reviewing a proposal to allow a petroleum pipeline to cross protected open space near the Salt Lake International Airport.

It will be a 415-mile underground pipeline from Woods Cross to Las Vegas; a 12-inch steel pipe projected to carry 62,000 barrels of oil daily.

One tricky part of the route would cross a conservancy district west of the airport, an area with protected wetlands popular with ducks hunters.

A spokesman with the company UNEV Pipeline says they've been working with stakeholder -- including the airport, duck clubs and conservation groups -- and made adjustments where requested.

"Any project that's this big and this long and affects this many people, you have to work diligently with those stakeholders that participate in the project, and I think we've done that. And I think that's evident by the process and where we are in the process," said UNEV Senior Vice President Jim Townsend.

The project could take more than 12,000 petroleum trucks off of Interstate 15 yearly.

"Environmentally, it seems like even though we're enabling the use of more petroleum and fossil fuels, we still need this resource ... and that it'll actually be taking trucks, over 10,000 trucks, off the road, off I-15," said Salt Lake City Councilman Luke Garrott.

Garrott and other city council members say they want a long-range plan in place, to "make sure there's no potential for long-term hazardous material enter into these sensitive areas."

The issue comes before the Salt Lake City Council Tuesday evening at 7:00. Then in September, the company expects to get final approval from the federal government. If it does, it would begin construction in the fall, and that is expected to be finished in about nine months.

The Salt Lake City Council will also take public comment on the pipeline during Tuesday night's meeting at City Hall.


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