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Two more oil pipelines planned in Will County

Updated: February 18, 2014 6:34AM



Enbridge Energy Co. will host an open house Wednesday in Crete to discuss a revised route for a new oil pipeline that now would run north of the proposed South Suburban Airport.

At Thursday’s county board meeting, officials of two companies gave updates on separate pipeline projects planned in Will County.

Enbridge, which is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, plans to construct a 36-inch pipeline for 79 miles from downstate Pontiac to Griffith, Ind., to meet the increasing demand for crude oil.

The initial plan was to have the line run parallel to an existing Enbridge line, but the company has shifted the proposed route north of the airport site at the request of the Illinois Department of Transportation. It would now run farther north along utility easements near Sauk Village.

Enbridge indicated that it will also continue to use its existing pipeline, which is under the airport site near Peotone.

The company needs to acquire easements from 273 landowners, 100 of whom live in Will County, said Jennifer Smith, Enbridge’s public affairs advisor, adding that most have agreed to allow Enbridge to use their property.

Smith said if the Illinois Commerce Commission approves the new pipeline, Enbridge would also be able to get the easements through eminent domain, which allows private land to be bought for the public good.

She said Enbridge also is working with IDOT to navigate the new line around the proposed Illiana Expressway.

By granting Enbridge an easement, property owners cannot put permanent structures or trees on that land but may farm or garden on it, Smith said. The pipeline will be five feet underground, and the land will be restored after installation, she said.

The open house will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Village Woods Retirement Community, 2681 Illinois 394. Detailed maps will be available so landowners can see exactly how their property will be impacted.

Smith said Enbridge hopes to begin clearing the land where needed this fall, start pipeline construction in spring 2015 and have the new line in service in fall 2015.

A second pipeline project to traverse Will County is planned by Tulsa-based Explorer Pipeline. The 24-inch line would run through Manhattan, Wilton and Peotone townships, Karen Kennedy, Explorer’s project engineering manager, told the board.

She said the pipeline would impacts 51 landowners, a fourth of whom have agreed to give Explorer an easement. Construction would begin late this year, with the line operational in fall 2015.



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