Utilities-Board-signThe Iowa Utilities Board has set hearing dates for the controversial Bakken crude oil pipeline that’s proposed to pass through 18 Iowa counties.

The board is considering whether to grant eminent domain requests to Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, so the company can acquire land and pump crude oil from fields in North Dakota, diagonally across Iowa, to a terminal in Illinois.

Opponents of the pipeline have raised environmental concerns and several landowners have filed a lawsuit against the IUB saying farmland cannot be taken for eminent domain unless it is for a public utility.

The board has scheduled November 12 for public comment and November 16 for an evidentiary hearing. Both will take place at the Boone County Fairgrounds Community Building. Energy Transfer Partners wants the pipeline operational by the end of 2016.