Dooley's shares pipeline plans with Kandiyohi County Board and public

Feb. 10—WILLMAR

— While only two miles of the planned 28-mile natural gas pipeline will be in Kandiyohi County, Dooley's Natural Gas did a full public presentation on the proposed project at the Feb. 6 meeting of the

Kandiyohi County Board

.

The public hearing was part of the project's permitting process, required by the state. A similar meeting was held

Jan. 30 in Swift County

and a meeting is still to be held in Chippewa County.

"We are excited about this new project, we've been working on it for quite a few years now," said Randy Dooley of Dooley's Natural Gas.

The county commissioners had a few comments and questions about the project, and there was only one public comment, from a farmer in Spicer who said he truly supported the project, calling it a good green energy project.

The questions covered items such as monitoring of the gas in the pipeline, how construction would impact property owners and the benefits of the project.

The pipeline will originate at four different dairies — Meadow Star in Kandiyohi County, East Dublin and Swenoda dairies in Swift County and Louriston Dairy in Chippewa — where Dooley's customer Amp Americas will be developing and owning natural gas processing facilities at each one. Those processing facilities will be transforming the manure waste from the dairies, all operated by Riverview LLP, into natural gas, mostly methane, using an anaerobic digester.

One of the benefits of the project is it reduces the amount of methane that evaporates into the atmosphere. Methane is thought to be one of the leading causes of climate change and agriculture is one of the biggest human caused creators of the gas,

according to NASA

.

The processed gas will be transported from the dairies through the pipeline and eventually into the Alliance Pipeline. The gas will be tested and measured before being put into the Dooley's pipeline and any gas that doesn't meet Alliance standards will be flared off at the individual processing facilities. The gas will also be monitored before being injected into the Alliance pipeline.

"They don't want gas in their line that could be corosive, have bad things in it," said Nate Deleeuw from Dooley's. "We'll monitor and measure it going in and monitor and measure it coming out."

The vast majority of the pipeline will be low pressure, with an operating pressure of 100 pounds per square inch, and installed in road rights of way. There will be no direct impact to landowners and minimal impacts on humans or the environment, DeLeeuw said.

There is some expectation that private and county drain tiles might be impacted, but Dooley's is working to avoid interaction where possible.

"We look forward to working with everyone so those drain tiles aren't impacted, and if they are, they get repaired properly," DeLeeuw said.

There will be about 100 feet of high-pressure pipe at the connection point with the Alliance pipeline near Murdock. It is here the natural gas from Dooley's pipeline will be injected into the Alliance pipeline.

While initally the new pipeline will be used excuslively to transport that processed natural gas from the facilities at the dairies to the Alliance pipeline, in the future there may be opportunities for other customers to hook on, said Dooley.

To install the pipeline, Dooley's will be using the vibratory plowing method, where a machine cuts a narrow path into soil and pulls the pipe into it, creating very little mess at ground level. Most of the low-pressure pipe will be 4 inches, with some areas using 2-inch or 6-inch pipe. It will be buried at a minimum depth of 30 inches.

"It is pretty noninvasive," DeLeeuw said.

For those areas were the vibratory plow can't be used, such as through wetlands or at road and driveway crossings, the pipeline will be installed using horizontal directional drilling.

"Basically a rod gets punched under the road and the pipe gets tied on and pulled back through," DeLeeuw said.

Prior to construction, Dooley's will need to get a Minnesota Public Utilities Commission route permit as well as utility permits from the three counties where the pipeline will be located. There will also be other permits, consultations and fees that will need to be completed.

Dooley's hopes to begin construction on the pipeline this spring and have it operational by fall.

"The install time is about a mile of pipeline every three days," said Micah Revell, attorney from Stinson LLP.