Montana gives ExxonMobil license to replace damaged Silvertip Pipeline

Source: Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) issued a temporary construction license to ExxonMobil Pipeline Company for the replacement of its damaged Silvertip Pipeline beneath the Yellowstone River south of Laurel, Montana. 

DNRC authorized the permit after conducting an Environmental Assessment and public comment period on the proposed project under the Montana Environmental Policy Act. A total of 21 public comments were received, noted DNRC Director Mary Sexton. 

"As a whole, comments focused on the importance of doing this project right -- from pipeline depth and location to engineering, construction standards and materials," said Sexton. 

The replacement section of the Silvertip Pipeline will be a minimum of 40 feet below the Yellowstone River. ExxonMobil will use horizontal directional drilling to install the pipeline; the drill rig and entry point will be located on the north side of the Yellowstone River on property owned by the Cenex Corporation. The exit point on the south side of the river will be in Riverside Park, owned by the City of Laurel. The new pipeline will be 12 inches in diameter and constructed of carbon steel. 

Construction of the new pipeline is expected to last about four weeks. Sexton said ExxonMobil has received all other needed permits for the work. 

The temporary construction license requires ExxonMobil Pipeline Company to submit an application for an easement on the pipeline to DNRC within 120 days. DNRC will then review the application and forward its recommendation to the Montana Board of Land Commissioners for final action, which could come next month.

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