The South Sioux City to Sioux Falls A-line Replacement will allow Northern to abandon in-place approximately 79 miles of its 14- and 16-inch-diameter M561A branch line (A-line) and, to replace the lost capacity, install 82.23 miles of 12-inch-diameter A-line between South Sioux City, Nebraska, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The majority of the replacement A-line will be installed within a 25-foot offset from the existing A-line with the exception of three areas – the replacement pipeline route will (1) be installed around Elk Point, South Dakota, to avoid multiple crossings of Interstate 29; (2) deviate from the existing pipeline where the pipeline crosses the Missouri River in Dixon County, Nebraska; and (3) deviate from the existing pipeline where the new A-line ties into Northern’s B-line at the northern end of the route near Harrisburg, South Dakota.
In addition to the A-line replacement, Northern proposes to replace its Ponca branch line. The 0.2-mile-long 2-inch-diameter Ponca branch line, which currently ties into the A-line to be abandoned, will be abandoned in-place, and replaced with 1.87 miles of 3-inch-diameter branch line. The extended length and larger diameter are necessary in order to tie the new Ponca branch line into the replacement A-line at a location optimal to meet required pressure profiles. The line will parallel approximately 1.5 miles of the existing A-line and 0.5 mile of the existing Ponca branch line and will terminate at Northern’s existing Ponca town border station.
Following the abandonment of the pipeline and the restoration of the land used for the pipeline project, Northern intends to offer the abandoned pipeline to a salvage company. The salvage company will be required, by contract, to comply with federal regulations regarding land restoration and sensitive environmental resource protection.
Northern filed its section 7 application for approval to start the project June 29, 2020. The Commission issued its Order Issuing Certificate and Approving Abandonment March 22, 2021. Northern plans to submit its Implementation Plan and request approval to commence construction within the next 30 days. The facilities are scheduled to be placed into service September 1, 2022.