For a second time, a company looking to store oil-field chemicals in north Minot has gained the support of the Minot Planning Commission.
The commission voted 12-0 Monday to endorse the request of Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations for a permit to store chemicals in quantities that exceed the current legal allowance. The commission had approved the request earlier this year only to have the Minot City Council take a reverse position. The company brought back the request after satisfying questions of Minot Public Schools that had prompted the council to vote against the permit. Erik Ramstad Middle School is being built about a third of a mile south of Baker Hughes.
No one spoke in opposition to the request at Monday's commission meeting. The commission's recommendation now goes back to the council.
Alderman Blake Krabseth explained that Baker Hughes acquired property along the north end of the U.S. Highway 83 Bypass and began building a facility before the 2011 flood, when there was no residential growth in that area. Having postponed requesting a permit at that time, Baker Hughes faced a different environment once it put in the request after the flood. There has been considerable growth in north Minot in addition to the construction of a new school.
Baker Hughes already is handling some chemicals as part of what largely is a technology operation at the site. The company can store up to 71,445 gallons of chemicals without a city permit. However, there are certain chemicals in the mix of substances that Baker Hughes wants to store that would be in excess of their individual limits. To address this issue, Baker Hughes wants to have the ability to store up to 80,500 gallons. The average quantity of permitted product to be stored in the company's two warehouses is 51,000 gallons.
The chemicals are considered flammable.
Safety measures at the facility include:
- Foam sprinkler system for fire suppression with high-speed, automatic response.
- Containment system sized to hold all the chemical stored plus water from fire suppression.
- Floor design that segments the building into separate drainage sections.
- An emergency response plan that includes notifying Minot Public Schools should an incident occur.
The planning commission also is recommending the council approve a permit to allow Cameron Oil to place a 1,000-gallon diesel tank and 1,000-gallon methanol tank above ground at 205-42nd St. SE.
After weighing aesthetics against the need for better cell phone service, the commission voted to recommend permits to SRT Communications for two cell towers. One 70-foot monopole for mounting a cell site repeater that would serve the Our Redeemer's School area in southeast Minot. The pole would extend 58 to 62 feet above ground.
The second tower would be a 180-foot lattice design and would handle growth in southeast Minot. It would be located at 2905-13th Street Southeast.
There were no public protests to either tower request.