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Butte Co. signs prison agreement with Faulk Co.

December 29, 2018

BUTTE COUNTY — The Butte County Commission Dec. 18 approved an agreement with Faulk County to utilize its jail systems as a backup plan in the wake of potential pipeline protests of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s construction within a corner of the county.

“Part of our process going forward with the pipeline possible uprising that may go on with civil disturbance,” Butte County Sheriff Fred Lamphere told to the commission.

Lamphere said he’s concerned that because the pipeline is anticipated to go through a good portion of Meade County, Butte County may have limited custody options. Currently, Butte County inmates are held in the Meade County Jail in Sturgis.

“In reality, if we have an event, we’re probably going to fill up Meade County (Jail) pretty quick,” he said.

Other jails in the area are likely to be limited on space, as well.

So, Lamphere said, should the need arise, the agreement would allow the county to utilize Faulk County jails at the rate of $85 per day per inmate.

In February, the commission considered a conditional haul road agreement with Keystone XL Pipeline, but the specifics of that agreement are still up in the air.

The Keystone XL Pipeline system is an oil system in Canada and the U.S., commissioned in 2010 and now owned solely by TransCanada Corporation. It runs from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin in Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas, and also to oil tank farms and an oil pipeline distribution center is Cushing, Okla.

The commission discussed the potential 2019 construction of an oil pipeline slated to be built that would cross the northeastern corner of Butte County, mainly through very remote, privately-owned property.

At the meeting, Lamphere said, representatives from the pipeline company said it plans to begin construction in four different locations simultaneously in an effort to spread the location of potential protesting.

Commissioner Kim Richards moved to approve the agreement; Commissioner Stan Harms seconded. The vote that followed was unanimous. Commissioner Kim Kling was absent.

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