Dakota Access pipeline gears up for Iowa hearings
Even as Energy Transfer Partners makes its way through North Dakota’s permitting process for its Dakota Access pipeline, another state is preparing for its hearings on the project.
The Iowa Utilities Board set deadlines on June 8 for filings concerning the controversial Bakken crude oil pipeline culminating with a potential November hearing. The IUB has set aside Nov. 12 through Dec. 2 to hear the case for the pipeline that would transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude per day from the Bakken and cut through 18 Iowa counties on its way to a distribution point in Patoka, Illinois. Landowners and others who want to file for intervener status would need to do so by July 27 in order to be represented during the hearings. If Dakota Access chooses to seek eminent domain to obtain property easements, it must do so by Aug. 10 and the Iowa board will prepare a report addressing it by Sept. 14. Any opponents of the permit request must file testimony and exhibits by Oct. 12 in order for Dakota Access to submit replies by Oct. 26. Opponents of the project, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, feel the timeline is too rushed.
“Iowa CCI is disappointed that IUB is attempting to speed up the permitting process on the proposal when it seems that Iowans still have a lot of questions when it comes to the proposed Bakken pipeline,” said Nathan Malachowski, a community organizer for the group.
In the 2015 Iowa Legislature an eminent domain bill was advanced, but ultimately died. It would have required companies to secure 75 percent of the land through voluntary easements before eminent domain could be authorized by state officials. In January, a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners submitted documentation to the IUB requesting the use of eminent domain to acquire a portion of the land to construct the pipeline.
- Maxine Herr