Des Moines, Iowa — Several environmental groups have filed a complaint with the Iowa Utilities Board over issues they say they have with meetings put on by those proposing the Dakota Access Pipeline – the proposed Bakken crude oil pipeline cutting across Iowa.
That pipeline is supposed to go through Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien Counties on its way southeast across the state toward a refinery.
We had a chance to talk with Iowa Utilities Board spokesman Rob Hillesland about it. He tells us that a coalition of thirteen different groups brought the complaint.
The coalition claims Energy Transfer Partners and the Dakota Access Pipeline failed to give proper notice to landowners and county communities before conducting statewide informational meetings in December, as required by Iowa Code. Their two main complaints were that the company did not send landowners notice changing the date of a December 2 informational meeting in Wapello County to December 16 by certified mail, and that in published public notices announcing the informational meetings, they stated a minimum pipeline depth of 60 inches on agricultural lands. During the meeting presentation, company representatives stated a minimum depth of 48 inches. The coalition fears that some landowners, thinking that the pipeline would be too deep to affect them, may have stayed away from the meetings.
The coalition also told about one landowner who never received a notice about the meetings until they were over, and they are concerned there may be more people who didn’t know about the meetings.
Hillesland lists the groups in the coalition.
He says any responses from the public need to be filed by next Tuesday, January 20th.
Hillesland says the board may do anything from stopping the regulatory process and requiring the company to re-do all the meetings, all the way down to taking no action, or anything in between. It is not known when the decisions will be made.