Published Spring 2013

Nationwide 12, Water Risks, & Government

Enbridge is seeking approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under a regulatory shortcut known as a Nationwide Permit. Enbridge is seeking approval for the project under Nationwide Permit 12 which applies to “utility lines.”

Nationwide permits are not site-specific in the destruction and pollution they authorize. They typically reference generalized guidelines, in the same fashion as the rules in your teenager’s driver’s handbook. The guidelines amount to “don’t dump in streams but if you must try to do something nice elsewhere to make up for it.” Because it is a nationwide permit, individual states have few opportunities to scrutinize the project outside of certifying the project. Members of the public have even fewer.

Governor Jay Nixon has enthusiastically expressed his support for the Enbridge pipeline, despite the new risks, weaknesses in oversight, scrutiny, and the company’s less than stellar record.

The Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources certification letter on the project says “a total of 8 streams and 7 wetlands will be crossed using a horizontal directional drilling process or another subsurface method and 568 streams and 239 wetlands will be crossed through open cutting.”

According to the DNR, the pipeline will have an average berth of 50 feet, and 60 feet during construction. All wooded wetlands en route will be entirely and permanently removed.

See the letter here for more details.

Missouri has noted that pre-certification is not available for eight stream crossings under Nationwide Permit 12. For these it must obtain a site specific permit to ensure that its project does not impact these waters. The eight (though the letter says nine) impaired water bodies are the North Fabius River, Grassy Creek, Troublesome Creek, Little Crooked Creek, Middle Fok Salt River, Palmer Creek, Honey Creek, and South Fork Blackwater River.

Take Action

You can speak up and speak out about the need for Missouri’s regulators to take a close look at the Flanagan South pipeline, its risks to our communities, and the threats to our land and water.

10 Questions About the Proposed South Flanagan Pipeline:

1.)        Is there a spill containment plan for the Pipeline?

2.)        Can we obtain a copy of the spill containment plan (if it exists)?

3.)        What is the construction schedule for the pipeline expansion through Missouri?

4.)        Have draft land disturbance permits to the Missouri DNR already been submitted? If not, when does Enbridge expect to submit them?

5.)        Can we get a detailed chemical breakdown of the constituent parts of the dilbit that will be traveling through the pipeline?

6.)        What will be the operating pressure and temperature of the new pipeline?

7.)        How will the Flanagan South pipeline be tested to ensure it withstands operating pressures?

8.)        Once operational, how often will the pipeline be inspected, by whom and where?

9.)        How will local emergency personnel and first responders be informed, trained and equipped to prepare and respond to a spill?

10.)     What resources will be mobilized to protect local water supplies, land, and air quality in the event of a spill? Who pays for them?

Governor Jay Nixon


P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone: (573) 751-3222

Missouri Clean Water Commission

c/o Water Protection Program
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102

For more information about Tar Sands, see: Dilbit: More Than Crude for the Environment

A Final (not) Note

Our information on this issue is continually evolving. Please share with us your research and we will share ours. We invite you to connect with others who are working for clean, safe, renewable energy that safeguards air and water for future generations. Like us on Facebook. Subscribe to our E-alerts. Join our Members.