Informational meetings begin this week for landowners in 18 Iowa counties where a Texas company wants to lay an underground pipeline to transfer crude oil across the state. Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) engineering manager Don Stersma says as many as 300 landowners are affected. “Every landowner in the corridor should have received a letter, plus there were notices published in newspapers in the area, and there’s considerable word of mouth,” Stersma said.
The Bakken crude oil pipeline, proposed by Energy Transfer Partners, would transfer oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Stersma notes the public meetings that start today will not be a chance for landowners to voice support or opposition. “I’m afraid this is not the opportunity to do that. That will come later. I hope people who show up thinking that are not disappointed,” Stersma said. The meetings are meant to inform landowners about the permit process and their legal rights before the company begins contacting them about easements.
According to Stersma, landowners will have to wait for formal hearings before they can go on record for or against the project. The company and the IUB will answer questions at meetings in 12 counties this week starting in Lyon, Lee, Sioux and Van Buren counties, with eight more meetings during the third week of December.