Pipeline Right-of-Way Topsoil Determinations

An interstate 1,172 mile 30-inch diameter pipeline is being constructed that will deliver crude oil from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota, Iowa, and into Illinois. Prior to construction topsoil determination was required to reduce overall impacts to agricultural landscapes including erosion, compaction, topsoil loss, and soil horizon mixing. State, federal, and local regulatory requirements, landowner involvement, and client commitment to environmental protection are driving the necessary actions and mitigation plans to safely and efficiently construct the pipeline right-of-way (ROW) to achieve full compliance with the environmental laws, regulations, and standards.

Duraroot conducted a comprehensive topsoil delineation for determining pre-construction topsoil depths to enhance soil salvage and post construction reclamation. Our team of soil scientists organized quickly to meet time-critical deadlines, delineating approximately 810 miles of the pipeline ROW with over 3,000 measurements being collected within a few months. Duraroot was responsible for collecting and analyzing topsoil data as well as the preparation of topsoil salvage recommendations. Innovative, cost effective, data collection allowed for field decisions to be made in real time while reducing the overall data management and reporting costs.

Duraroot’s involvement provided the client with the information to enhance the protection and conservation of valuable topsoil resources to maintain crop productivity. By delineating prime farmland soils, topsoil depths, and poor reclamation soils, reclamation limitations were identified and post reclamation success most likely enhanced. This ensures that the land can be returned to a productive, safe, and stable end land use following disturbance. Our team of soil scientists provided accurate, reliable data within a short timeframe that is reproducible and easily translated to field personnel during construction activities. The delineation provided will reduce reclamation costs while enhancing full restoration of agricultural landscapes and reducing topsoil loss. As well, the data can inform soil management efforts to minimize crop insurance claims for crop damage and reduced yields, which often result from improper topsoil preservation.