Northwest Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has scheduled a public meeting for December 16th to discuss the request of Dakota Access for a permit to cross public land so the company can build its Baaken oil pipeline. That’s the pipeline that would pass through portions of Lyon, Sioux and O’Brien counties here in northwest Iowa.
D-N-R spokesman Kevin Baskins says this issue is separate from the larger picture discussion by the Iowa Utilities Board about whether the company can build the pipeline. Baskins says if the I-U-B rules the overall pipeline can proceed, then the state would become just like other landowners, and have to decide if the pipelines can cross four areas.
Eminent domain is used when a property owner does not want to voluntarily allow access to their land. Baskins says that state lands are also different from private lands as there are no provisions to grant easements or voluntary access to the land.
He says the pipeline would need to cross public land in four places.
Baskins says the company would bore under the rivers and then use a trench in the wildlife area. He says the permit would outline what the company can do at the crossings.
He says the public meeting is part of the gathering of information as the D-N-R looks at the permit.
The public meeting is set for December 16th from 5 to 7 p-m in the auditorium of the Wallace State Office Building in Des Moines. Other comments can be made on the permit to the D-N-R until 5 p-m Tuesday, January 5th, by email at SLER@dnr.iowa.gov; or by sending written comments to:
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Sovereign Lands Construction Permit Program
502 E. Ninth St.
Des Moines, IA 50319