Planning commissions examine pipeline rules
November 21, 2014
Both the Eastern Summit County and the Snyderville Basin planning commissions held public hearings this week to address amendments to their Development Codes that would create new criteria for hazardous liquids or materials transmission pipelines.
The changes are meant to address the health, safety and welfare of the residents on each side of the county. The amendments mirror the same language for each respective code, while considering issues that would pertain specifically to either the east or west side of the county.
In the current East Side Development code, any transmission line that is greater than 12 inches in diameter, without specifying the material inside, requires a conditional use permit. In the Snyderville Basin, a low-impact permit is required.
"So both codes already have a process that you have to go through, but this language specifically identifies the hazardous pipelines as separate from other pipelines and includes specific regulations to those," Jennifer Strader, county planner, said.
Both commissions were asked to forward positive recommendations to the Summit County Council to approve the changes and both commissions voted to table the discussion until their next meeting to allow for more research into the potential effects of these amendments.
"If we don’t get these permanent ordinances in place, both codes still have ordinances to address the pipelines," Strader said.
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During the summer, as a reaction to Tesoro Refining and Marketing’s proposal to place a pipeline in the county, the County Council voted to adopt a Temporary Zoning Ordinance to address deficiencies in the existing code, specifically pertaining to hazardous liquids or materials transmission pipelines. The temporary ordinance is due to expire on Jan. 10, 2015.
"Obviously, we are aware that Tesoro wants to put in a pipeline. So this would allow us to have specific, environmental regulations in place that would protect the water sources, for example," Strader said.
Both codes are proposing a 50-foot easement requirement, rather than the 200-foot requirement in the previous code, and a 2,500-foot setback from water sources.
"The setback from the water sources is probably the most significant thing in the ordinance," Strader said.
The planning department, working in conjunction with the county’s engineering department, prepared the changes to the ordinances to remain consistent with the federal guidelines.
"The federal guidelines are specific to safety standards, but these would deal with environmental standards making sure they meet our criteria in both of our codes," Strader said.
For more information about the changes the planning department is proposing to the both the Eastern Summit County and Snyderville Basin Development Codes, contact the planning department or visit the county website at http://www.summitcounty.org/agendacenter .
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