IUB Issues Pipeline Construction Permit to Dakota Access

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The Iowa Utilities Board ruled today that Texas crude oil pipeline company Dakota Access LLC has complied with its pre-permitting conditions and has issued the company a hazardous liquid pipeline permit.

In a press release, the IUB said:

The Iowa Utilities Board has found that Dakota Access has substantially complied with the requirements of the Board’s March 10, 2016, order and has issued a hazardous liquid pipeline permit to Dakota Access, LLC, in Docket No. HLP-2014-0001. With its decision today the Board also issued an “ORDER ACCEPTING COMPLIANCE FILINGS AND ISSUING PERMIT.”

However, Dakota Access has made certain commitments that must be completed before construction can commence. Consistent with the company’s own commitments, construction may not commence until certain documents are filed with the Board. Dakota Access has committed that it will file with the Board permits and approval documents from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Iowa Department of Natural Resources prior to commencing construction. The company has also committed to file final versions of the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan and Unanticipated Discovery Plan prior to commencing construction.

The Board ruled that Dakota Access may continue to engage in environmental staking and clearing trees and shrubbery with hand-held tools, but only on parcels where all of the following conditions are true: (a) Dakota Access has a voluntary easement; (b) Dakota Access has received permission from the landowner to engage in these activities; and (c) Dakota Access has given the county inspector for that county and the landowner reasonable advance notice of the timing and location of the activities.

You can read the board’s decision in full here.

Construction on the project began before today’s decision by the IUB, but because it is on an electrical substation that another company was constructing for Dakota Access’ pipeline pumping station on an adjacent parcel, the pipeline company denied that it fell under the IUB’s construction scope for the project.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.