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ND Commission Agrees to Hearing on DAPL Expansion Plans

The Dakota Access pipeline currently ships about 500,000 barrels of oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois. (Tony Webster/Flickr)
The Dakota Access pipeline currently ships about 500,000 barrels of oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois. (Tony Webster/Flickr)
August 22, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. – A public hearing is scheduled to evaluate a request to double the amount of crude oil flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has announced a hearing for Nov. 13 on Energy Transfer Partners' plan to ship roughly 1.1 million barrels of oil through the pipeline per day.

The Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes have been calling for a hearing.

Chase Iron Eyes, lead counsel of the Lakota People's Law Project, participated in protests against the pipeline in 2016. He says scrutiny of these expanded plans is important.

"We want to educate people about why we are standing up for the water and for the land,” he states. “It's not just because we're DNA-driven to do it because of who we are as indigenous peoples who originate in this hemisphere.

“We're also trying to impact global policy and protect the rights of your children, too, and the entire biosphere, really."

Energy Transfer Partners says the increased oil flow won't significantly change operation of the pipeline and that a hearing isn't necessary, but has added it is happy to cooperate.

The announcement for a hearing comes as a whistleblower revealed this week to the website DeSmogBlog that a 2015 spill in North Dakota may have released 11 million gallons of crude oil over three years.

The state Department of Health officially lists the spill as releasing 10 gallons.

Iron Eyes says incidences such as this are the reason why people are pushing so hard for North Dakota to hold a public hearing.

"Their trust factor isn't very high right now, and so I want to encourage people to intervene and just encourage people to pay attention,” he states. “All we want is peace and clean water for our families."

The Dakota Access Pipeline has been shipping oil under the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation's water supply, the Missouri River, and on to Illinois since 2017.

The hearing is set for Nov. 13 at the Emmons County Courthouse in Linton.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ND