Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Utilities Board has unanimously denied a request from landowners for a permanent stay to stop Dakota Access from building the Bakken oil pipeline until a court decides if the company can use eminent domain to get access to their land.
The three-member board heard roughly 45 minutes of testimony from each side and asked questions before going into a close meeting to deliberate. After returning to open session, I-U-B chair Geri Huser, of Altoona read a statement that said the board was required to consider four factors: the likelihood of the groups success in their appeal; the degree the group may suffer irreparable harm; the degree to which the other side might be harmed; and the public interest.
Huser said the board did not find there would be irreparable harm to the landowners.
The representative from Dakota Access had argued the landowners should have filed the request earlier. Huser’s final point supported that idea.
The board did vote to continue a temporary stay on construction in place until the 9 a-m deadline Monday to give the landowners a chance to file an appeal in district court. Board member Nick Wagoner of Marion voted against keeping the temporary stay in place, while Huser and Libby Jacobs of West Des Moines voted in favor. The landowners had sought the emergency I-U-B hearing after a Polk County District Court judge ruled they had to go through the administrative process first before he could take up the issue.