A city official here is concerned about a 130-mile, 8-inch gasoline pipeline planned for construction between Roosevelt and Woods Cross.
"Anytime you bury one of those suckers, there are always problems down the road," City Manager Colin Wood said Monday.Wood expressed surprise at the prospect of a new pipeline going through his city. He said Inland Resources told North Salt Lake on Aug. 4 that its plans included no new construction or pipelines.
Inland Resources president Bill Fink said his company never meant to mislead North Salt Lake leaders about its plans. "Something got mixed up along the way," he said.
Fink said he plans to discuss the issue further with North Salt Lake officials.
Wood said a primary reason for the city's concern is its past experiences with pipelines. Problems have included leakage, spills and road construction difficulties.
"I'd love to say we have no problems with pipelines, but that is not the case," he said.
Whether the city's unhappiness will translate into problems for Inland Resources is unclear, however. Wood said City Council members were not involved in the Aug. 4 phone call, so their opinions are unclear. Beyond that, Wood did not know if the city could even stop the pipeline through zoning or planning ordinances.
Inland plans to build the pipeline in the year 2000 to carry gasoline from a Roosevelt refinery to a distribution point in Woods Cross. The new line will use the same right of way through Davis County as the existing Questar and Chevron pipelines.
Because of that existing right of way, impact on the areas along the pipeline will be minimal, Fink said.
"It's not a lot of fuss, or a lot of hassle," Fink said. "It's a very modest project."
Fink said he understands there may be skeptical attitudes about the pipeline, especially in Davis County.
Almost a decade ago, the Kern River pipeline, which carries natural gas between Wyoming and California, snaked its way through Davis County amid much controversy.
Even today, scars from that project can be seen on Bountiful's hillside, despite a successful revegetation program.
Fink, however, hopes that people will quickly realize the differences between the two projects.
Not only will the Inland pipeline follow an existing route, but the size of the Kern River pipe at 36 inches in diameter is more than four times the size of the Inland Resources pipe.
"We are not Kern River," Fink said. "We don't want to get tarred with that brush."
The Inland pipeline, in fact, will have more benefits than down-sides, Fink said.
It will provide 250 jobs to the Uinta Basin, where Inland is reopening a mothballed refinery. By doing this, the company can make the gasoline an entirely Utah product with the unrefined oil coming from a Uinta Basin oil field, being refined in Roosevelt and then being distributed from Woods Cross.
Also, because of the pipeline, additional refining won't be necessary in Woods Cross. Nor will additional truck trips from Roosevelt be needed. The pipeline will bring in the equivalent of 38,000 truck trips of gasoline each year.
That reduction of truck traffic, as much as anything, brought Woods Cross' approval, said Gary Uresk, city manager.
"I would much rather see a pipeline than all of that truck traffic," Uresk said.
Those wanting more information about the pipeline can call Inland Resources at 1-800-432-6584.