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Opposition Mounts: Six Months to Bakken Pipeline Decision

Opponents of the proposed Bakken oil pipeline says it would put the state's soil, waterways and communities at risk. Credit: Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.
Opponents of the proposed Bakken oil pipeline says it would put the state's soil, waterways and communities at risk. Credit: Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.
June 29, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa – Large sections of pipe are already being stockpiled along the proposed route through Iowa, but the approval of the Bakken Pipeline is far from a done deal and opponents are ramping up their fight.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is planning meetings across the state in the counties that would be impacted.

Nathan Malachowski, a community organizer with the group, says that will include a Jasper County gathering tonight in the city of Newton.

"There's still a lot of room for people to voice their concerns and influence the decision making process and getting involved is very important," he stresses.

The proposed Bakken Pipeline would send up to 570,000 gallons of crude oil though Iowa daily from the northwest corner of the state to the southeast, crossing 18 counties in all. would send up to 570,000 gallons of crude oil though Iowa daily from the northwest corner of the state to the southeast, crossing 18 counties in all.

The developers say this will allow the domestically produced oil to reach major refining markets in a more direct, safe and environmentally responsible manner.

But Malachowski says construction of this pipeline to bring crude from North Dakota's oil fields to a distribution point in Illinois would put the state of Iowa at risk.

"So we talk about agricultural legacy,” he points out. “This is something that is a direct threat to that. This is crossing valuable farmland, rich soils, all of our waterways, which are already impaired.

“So do we really want to incur another risk of an oil spill? We know that those oil spills have had devastating effects in other areas of the country."

Landowners and others wishing to intervene in the project must file a petition by July 27 to the Iowa Utilities Board. That three-person panel will hear the case starting in November and is expected to rule on the permit in late December or early January.


John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA