Sierra Club To File Suit Over Bakken Pipeline Approval

Date posted - March 18, 2016

Dakota Access Bakken Crude Pipeline Route IowaNorthwest Iowa — An environmental group is preparing to file a lawsuit against the Iowa Utilities Board over their approval of a construction permit for the Bakken Oil Pipeline, an underground pipeline that would transport oil from North Dakota, diagonally across Iowa, to a facility in Illinois.  The pipeline route calls for it to pass through Lyon, Sioux and O’Brien counties.

Sierra Club’s Wally Taylor says his group has 30 days from the issuing of the permit approval to file the suit.

Supporters say construction and maintenance of the 350-mile long pipeline would create between 400 and 4,000 jobs. Once complete, the proposed pipeline would carry more than 500-thousand barrels of oil a day from the oil fields in North Dakota to a refinery in Illinois. Taylor says there are many eminent domain concerns with the project and Iowa law clearly limits eminent domain on agricultural land.

Taylor says both the Iowa Utilities Board and State Department of Natural Resources have approved Dakota Access, however the U-S Army Corps of Engineers has yet to sign off on the project and that could take some time.

While the pipeline would cut across 18 counties in Iowa, Taylor says he’ll likely file the lawsuit in Des Moines in Polk County where the Iowa Utilities Board is based.

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