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By DALE WETZEL Associated Press

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N.D. regulator resigning for federal job

By DALE WETZEL Associated Press

PO Box 5516

Bismarck, ND 58506-5516 701-223-2500 Bakken Weekly is produced

by the Bismarck Tribune and distributed throughout the Williston Basin.

North Dakota’s Public Service Com- mission said June 8 he’ll resign his job in a week to accept a federal appoint- ment. Tony Clark is taking a spot on the

BISMARCK — The chairman of

mission. The U.S. Sen- ate confirmed Clark for the job May 24. U.S. Sen. John

sional standpoint very exciting,” Clark said. Clark said he has been reading com-

Federal Energy Regulatory Commis- sion in Washington, D.C. Both the North Dakota commission and the federal agency regulate utilities, power generators and pipelines. President Barack Obama nominat-

ed Clark, a Republican, for one of two GOP spots on the five-member com-


said his resignation will be effective the moment he finishes taking the oath. “It’s been something that’s been in

the works for a number of months, so to finally have the wait be over, and be able to dig into things, is from a profes-

Hoeven, who helped guide Clark’s nomina- tion in the Senate, will administer the oath of office to Clark in a state Capitol ceremony at 2 p.m. on June 15. Clark

mission orders to prepare for his posi- tion. He knows many of the commis- sion’s issues from his own work as a state regulator, but some FERC matters — such as licensing of private, electric- ity-generating dams — are less famil- iar, he said. Clark, 40, has been on the North Da-

his term, and Gov. Jack Dalrymple will choose someone to finish it.

fined a total of $2,500 after pipeline com- panies turned them in for neglecting to provide notice of their digging projects in western North Dakota. Two were accused of causing accidents. Belle Fourche Pipeline Co., of Casper,

Wyo., reported that Summit Energy Ser- vices of Williston and Pro Pipe Corp., of Frenchtown, Mont., damaged its 8-inch crude oil pipeline on separate occasions. A natural gas pipeline company, Aux

Sable Midstream LLC, complained that S.J. Louis Construction Inc., of Rockville, Minn., dug in the vicinity of one of its pipelines without checking on its location. The pipe was not harmed. North Dakota’s Public Service Com-

mission fined Summit Energy and Pro Pipe Corp. $1,000 each. The companies admitted the violations, Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer said June 4.

S.J. Louis was fined a lesser amount,

$500, because its infraction did not result in any damage, commission regulatory fil- ings say. During a routine check, an Aux Sable worker discovered that between 12 and 18 inches of soil had been removed from above the company’s pipeline. The Summit Energy, Pro Pipe and S.J.

Louis violations all happened in January, regulatory filings say. “In the case of the pipeline companies,

they’re both sometimes victim and some- times perpetrator, because they do a lot of digging,” Cramer said. “When we start seeing both the perpetrator and the victim become the same person, you start seeing more cooperation.” North Dakota law requires excavators

to call a state “one-call center” at least 48 hours before they begin digging, so the center has time to notify the excavator whether there are any pipelines, telephone lines or other utility facilities already bur- ied there. The PSC may fine violators up to

BAKKEN BREAKOUT WEEKLY Cos. fined for digging violations

$5,000 for each occurrence. Commis- sioner Brian Kalk said the agency has fined only a handful of operators and is tracking the circumstances to ensure the punishment fits the offense. “The pipeline companies, I think

they’ve gone down to almost zero toler- ance,” Kalk said. “If they see something, they report it, which is a good thing.” S.J. Louis had been digging a trench

in Ward County, near Ruthville, to install a water line. Summit Energy had been prospecting near Alexander in McKenzie County for scoria, a type of rock used for road building in western North Dakota, when the excavator struck the pipeline, causing it to leak. The leak was not noticed for several

weeks, and it is now being cleaned up, the Public Service Commission said. Pro Pipe was installing a water line and

a crude oil pipeline near Alexander when the company’s excavator struck the Belle Fourche oil pipeline, PSC filings say.

kota commission for almost 12 years. He is a former North Dakota state leg- islator and labor commissioner. Clark has almost six months left on

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