April Newsline: New Orleans reinstates sewer/water program; Keystone Pipeline grabs; raising rates to fund infrastructure and more

April 2010 Vol. 65 No. 4

As part of its ongoing remediation program, estimated to cost more than $400 million from its inception in 1998, the board has agreed to repair all of its 62 pump stations damaged by the hurricane, as well as any other hurricane damage in the portions of the collection system served by those pump stations. By no later than July 2015, the board will complete additional studies required by EPA and make all necessary repairs and upgrades to its collection system, including measures designed to provide dependable electrical services at its treatment plant in the event of a future catastrophic event.

The board will also design and implement a new preventive maintenance plan to inspect and clean its sewer lines and pump stations to prevent sewage overflows, and will continue efforts under its sewage overflow action plan designed to minimize the impact of such overflows on the environment.

In addition, now that the system serves only about 60 percent of people that it served before Katrina hit, the board has agreed to report each year on population changes and to evaluate any need for increased capacity for its pump stations, force mains and treatment plant.

Governor wants piece of Keystone Pipeline pie
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer said he wants oil companies in Montana and North Dakota to be able to tap into a proposed pipeline that would run from Alberta to the Gulf Coast.

The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project is an approximate 1,980-mile, 36-inch crude oil pipeline that would begin at Hardisty, Alberta and extend southeast through Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. It would incorporate a portion of the Keystone Pipeline to be constructed through Kansas to Cushing, OK, before continuing through Oklahoma to a delivery point near existing terminals in Nederland, TX, to serve the Port Arthur, TX, marketplace. Also proposed is an approximate 50-mile pipeline to the Houston marketplace.

The Governor asked the Public Service Commission to investigate whether the statE has authority to force Calgary-based TransCanada to allow an on ramp for the region’s oil near Baker. That would help oil companies in the two states get better prices for their fuel, which is often sold at a discount because of shipping restraints.