Two weeks ago, NPGA appealed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on a matter concerning a portion of the Mid-America Pipeline (MAPL) near Decatur, Nebraska, which was damaged by severe flooding of the Missouri River. MAPL is seeking to replace three existing pipelines that intersect at the Missouri River. In order to do so, MAPL must secure a permit from the USACE before beginning this work.
The permit application approval process within the USACE can take a lengthy period of time. Therefore, NPGA urged the USACE to grant an emergency authorization to MAPL to begin the work while simultaneously allowing the company to fulfill all the other permit application requirements.
The urgency with this matter is the need for members in the Central Plains States served by this portion of the MAPL pipeline to meet the upcoming agricultural demands, e.g. crop drying, that are expected to increase dramatically within the next 30 days.
NPGA noted the significant impact any delays in the replacement and approval of this section of pipeline will have on the industry, particularly if the weather turns colder and space heating demand for propane rises earlier than expected. In particular, Iowa's Secretary of Agriculture indicated that the 2011 corn crop alone in that state would be worth between $15-$18 billion.
There are no effective short term substitutes for propane in either residential or agricultural applications. As a result, NPGA indicated that propane is considered an essential fuel for this region both in terms of meeting residential basic needs as well as for the agricultural economy of these states.
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