Bountiful and North Salt Lake officials are back at the drawing board to see if they can find a safer and more publicly acceptable route for a natural gas pipeline through their communities.
Peter Jenks, spokesman for Rep. Jim Hansen, said that the two cities were asked at a meeting with Hansen in Farmington Monday to look at alternate routes that might assuage concerns raised by residents and officials. Bountiful City Manager Tom Hardy would not comment on the options being considered other than to confirm members of North Salt Lake and Bountiful staffs met Tuesday afternoon."We want to make sure the pipeline is not shoved down the throats of constituents. At the same time we didn't want to leave a stone unturned. We want to see if there is a variation to the proposed pipeline route that didn't infringe on private property and satisfies the mayors and their constituency," Jenks said.
The action follows a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling to certify Wyoming-California Pipeline Co. (WyCal) to build a pipeline from southwestern Wyoming along the Wasatch Front to California. The state did not file a petition for a commission rehearing as had been requested by concerned south Davis residents. The residents filed their own petition last week.
At the same time that city officials are looking for alternative routes along the Wasatch Front, Jenks said, and the Forest Service, at Hansen's request, is re-examining its decision not to allow the pipeline through Uinta National Forest land. If the Forest Service won't change its mind, Jenks said, Hansen will file a bill to force the pipeline through forest land or along another route.
Hansen has not ruled out naming an alternate route through the Wasatch Front in his bill.
Said Jenks: "We want to find out if there is a route that residents don't object to. We want to lessen the impact to communities so we are looking for a route that is away from communities, children, homes and potential development areas . . . Before we submit a piece of legislation we want a good route to put in the legislation. We want it (the pipeline) to go through Utah, but we also want to address the concerns of constituents."
Hansen doesn't want to kill a pipeline project that will boost the Utah and Wyoming economies by outrightly opposing it, Jenks said.