BOUNTIFUL - South Davis residents were so eager to hear details of the 135-mile pipeline proposed to run from the Uinta Basin to refineries in south Davis and Salt Lake counties that they began pouring into an open house nearly a half-hour before the event was scheduled to begin.
Hundreds came out to the open house on Thursday, many to better understand what the proposal will mean to them, if approved.
Some came in with their minds made up and were more than willing to share their views with Tesoro and U.S. Forest Service representatives.
Plans call for the pipeline to come over the Wasatch Mountains between the Bountiful LDS temple and the Bountiful High “B” on the hillside in the northern portion of the city. If built, it will travel west on 400 North, eventually meeting Redwood Road.
Most of the pipeline will be on U.S. Forest Service land. The entire project will be underground, except for an occasional valve, Tesoro representatives said. However, 400 North will be torn up if the plan is approved.
The proposed pipeline would be 12 inches in diameter and is being designed to handle 60,000 barrels a day of waxy crude oil. Company officials say the pipeline would mean that 250 trucks could be taken from Utah roadways between the Uinta Basin and the Wasatch Front.
Bountiful resident Steve Ober said he’s heard the waxy crude oil is cleaner, but he still has concerns.
“Tesoro doesn’t have the greatest safety record,” he said.
Ober doesn’t see the pipeline as a huge benefit to south Davis County, but he appreciates the fact the plan means a significant number of trucks will disappear from roads.
If the route is approved, Lee Parks and his wife Edy will have front row seats to view the construction process. Their home is on 400 North.
Lee Parks said they were at the open house to gather information on the project.
“I’m not for or against it at this point,” he said, adding they own land in Woodland Utah, near the route of the Chevron pipeline.
“I was told this pipeline would follow that one.
While Lee Parks was ambivalent about Tesoro pipeline, Edy Parks was more concerned.
“I don’t much care for it going down 4th North. I’m concerned about how safe it will be.”
Several people attending the open house owned property in the Uintas or along the route and traveled to Bountiful from Salt Lake City and beyond to ask questions.
Salt Lake City resident Harry Watkins said the pipeline travels just 70 feet from his cabin in Duchesne.
“I’m not very fond of it,” he said.
The open house drew officials from the city, county and state level, many to get their first glimpse of the proposed plans.
Those plans are still in the preliminary stage, Gebhardt said. An Environmental Impact Statement won’t be out for another year.
The open house, hosted by the Forest Service, was held as a 45-public comment period began. Those wishing to comment may do so at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing Nelson Gonzalez-Swallow, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache-National Forest, Services Supervisors Office, 857 W. South Jordan Parkway, South Jordan, 84095-8594.