COLUMBIA - An oil pipeline may soon run across the state, passing close to many rivers and water supplies in northern and western Missouri.
Canadian oil company Enbridge Inc. plans to begin construction in August, according to the Associated Press. The roughly 600-mile pipeline would stretch from Illinois to Oklahoma. The pipeline would cross north of Quincy, Ill., then continue southwest toward Moberly, Marshall and eventually exit Missouri south of Kansas City. It would run near the path of an existing pipeline.
Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. Enbridge invites Missourians to an open house in Archie to discuss the pipeline. The company held a similar open house in Marshall on Tuesday and plans to hold more in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Danny Ferguson, an opponent to the pipeline, said he fears the rivers and water supplies surrounding the pipeline could become contaminated. Ferguson is on the city council in Adrian, a community near the pipeline, and said that a large portion - if not all - of the community's water supply would be at risk if an oil spill were to occur. He added that the oil company Enbridge has had trouble with spills before. In 2010, roughly 840,000 gallons of oil leaked into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan from a pipeline controlled by Enbridge.
On Enbridge's website, the company states, "everything from pipeline design, construction, testing, maintenance, operation and safety practices - are subject to government regulations, which we work hard to meet or exceed." Click here for a list of checks it goes through with each pipeline.
In January of 2012, Governor Jay Nixon supported early reports about the Enbridge pipeline, citing the increase in jobs and revenue the project would bring to the state. He said his administration would work to approve whatever permits the company needed to move ahead with the project. In October of 2012, Nixon told KOMU, "I feel like we've made some real progress here with the Enbridge Pipeline coming across the state to make sure that we become more energy independent with using the Alberta Oil sands to get that in North America."
The Kansas City District of the Army Corps of Engineers said Enbridge submitted a request for a permit in regards to the Clean Water Act. Mark Frazier, Chief of the Regulatory Branch, said the district is looking at water crossings and can only estimate the review process for the permit ending "within a couple months."