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Other View: City's pipeline deal is satisfactory

The agreement reached between Fargo and the Canadian builder of a crude oil pipeline will make a good project better. Moreover, Fargo's insistence on taking a critical look at the potential threat to its alternate water supply has probably result...

The agreement reached between Fargo and the Canadian builder of a crude oil pipeline will make a good project better. Moreover, Fargo's insistence on taking a critical look at the potential threat to its alternate water supply has probably resulted in a more respectful, more cordial relationship between the city and TransCanada, the builder and operator of the Keystone pipeline.

Fargo got the company to build features into the pipeline that further reduce the risk of an oil spill reaching the city's water supply in the Sheyenne River and Lake Ashtabula.

In exchange, Fargo agreed to drop its intervener status with the North Dakota Public Service Commission, which means the permitting process and eventually construction can proceed on schedule.

The PSC will decide early next year whether to issue a permit for the pipeline route. One concern that still has not been addressed is the line's potential detrimental impact on wooded areas of the Sheyenne River Valley during construction. TransCanada has agreed to avoid such woodland clear-cutting in the Pembina Gorge in northern North Dakota by drilling under the Pembina River. The company should do the same in the Sheyenne woodlands. The PSC should insist on it.

Time and again, TransCanada has demonstrated good corporate citizenship. Its standards for pipeline operation are the highest. Its engineering and construction techniques are state-of-the-art. Its safety record is excellent. And its recent negotiations with Fargo confirm the company's willingness to listen and adjust accordingly.

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