BLM report recommends renewing pipeline lease

Posted: Sunday, December 01, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- An environmental impact statement by the Bureau of Land Management released Friday is recommending approval for a 30-year right of way grant for the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

The 7-volume document makes no new demands on pipeline operators. It now goes to officials with the bureau and the Department of Interior for a final determination.

The six companies that own the trans-Alaska Pipeline System applied for state and federal right of ways in May 2001. Both grants were set to expire in early 2004.

Gov. Tony Knowles signed a 30-year lease for the 800-mile pipeline on Tuesday. Approval of the 376 miles of pipeline that runs through federal lines is expected by January 2003.

The renewals are crucial for the continued flow of crude oil from North Slope oil fields to the tanker port at Valdez.

Both the state and federal review dismissed requests by the public to create a citizen review panel to make sure pipeline operators are spending enough money on maintenance.

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