March 3, 2010

Corps, county weigh oil’s impending impact

Corps, county weigh oil’s impending impact
By STU MERRY

How will the increase in oil and gas activity affect McLean County – more specifically, around Lake Sakakawea?
County officials, along with U. S. Army Corps of Engineers officials agree – it’s best to be proactive.
At the March 2 county commission meeting, Tim Kolke with the Corps, along with Phil Brown, lake manager, Garrison project, sat down with commissioners, presenting them with the annual update of lake operations. The meeting gives commissioners a quick snapshot of what is taking place regarding development along the lake. The main discussion quickly turned to oil.
Brown said the Corps is in its initial phase of conducting what he called a scoping process. Information gleaned will be analyzed to develop a possible environmental impact statement pertaining to oil activity along the lakeshore. Commissioners agreed to provide a letter to be included with the testimony.
The big concern shared by those present is the “what if.” What if, during development, an oil spill was to happen? A multiple pronged approach was deemed best. With drilling likely to be going under the lake in the not too distant future, both sides expressed concern about what steps would be taken if; for instance there was an oil spill into the lake.
 


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