Agricultural Inspection Services for Pipeline Right-of-Way Construction

Duraroot was tasked to implement and manage an Agricultural Inspection (AI) program during active construction for a 1,172 mile 30-inch diameter crude oil pipeline originating in the Bakken oil field of northwestern North Dakota and traversing South Dakota, Iowa, and finally ending in south central Illinois. Construction of the pipeline right-of-way (ROW) provided our client a unique set of problems due to the location and sensitivity of the project. More than 90% of this highly visible project is located in agricultural land. In addition, multiple agricultural mitigation agreements and plans have been established furthering the complexity of the project.

In order to meet the challenges presented by ROW construction, Duraroot developed a pre-construction training program uniquely tailored to each set of agreements based upon geographical locations for project personnel. Duraroot Senior Scientists provided the trainings in conjunction with project kick-off meetings to maximize the audience, also giving individual trainings to Duraroot’s agricultural inspectors on the project. Proper training of both the construction personnel and the inspection staff is bolstered by Duraroot’s construction and agricultural specialists providing back-office support throughout the duration of the project.

ROW construction provides an additional set of challenges made even more unique by the fluid nature of day-to-day activities of pipeline installation. Duraroot provided contractors with one agricultural inspector for each delineated spread of the project. A Duraroot Agricultural Inspector’s primary responsibility is to provide agronomic and soil science technical support to the project team and to help the Land Agents discuss potential issues with Landowners upon request. Agricultural inspectors were also tasked to assist the project Environmental Inspectors with stormwater inspections and other environmental issues and work with construction crews to provide ideas on construction techniques that may lead to more efficient agricultural land reclamation.

Duraroot’s expertise with agricultural issues and their extensive background in linear pipeline construction provided the client with a level of industry professionalism unmatched in the United States. Our ability to adapt and problem solve has made Duraroot’s role in the project vital to the eventual reclamation and restoration of some of the country’s most fertile agricultural grounds. Keeping the contractor moving while avoiding compliance issues has made for a more efficient construction effort, helping to leave a positive landowner and agency legacy for our client.